If a film gets a huge thumbs up on its theatrical release and then releases on OTT where we get to watch for the 1st time, there are 2 issues. One, the expectations get built up. Two, the reputation of the film precedes our watching experience. That’s what happened to me for this film – Maanaadu which showed up on Sony Liv after few weeks of successful theatrical run.
Any creative work is pivoted around two things – its Content and Craft. Maanaadu is as per me is all about Craft. In terms of story line, there is nothing new. It is about a political conspiracy that gets cooked up. But what makes it new, is the time loop concept through which the story is taken forward or rather backward. In my opinion, this film is all about its creator Venkat Prabhu. He takes the cake in not just putting the concept on paper by way of the screen play but executing as such. When you watch the film, you will understand that it is not easy to write such a film which people can also follow without getting lost. Where was Venkat Prabhu all these days?
Again, such a complicated film can only click if the technical work like cinematography, background score, editing, action choreography, casting etc. also are of high quality. In Maanaadu, all these areas have come together well. Yuvan’s background score elevates the scenes to another level in the film. Editor Praveen must have worked overtime to put the scenes in loop exactly the way the director envisioned.
Simbu (STR) as Khaliq who suffers from the “time loop” disease is in fine form and this would remain a high point in what has been a mixed career so far. Kalyani Priyadarshan has a small role but gives a good account of herself. S.J.Suryah who is the antagonist pitted against Simbu, acts at times, over acts most of the times and is a put off.
The film is paced well and kudos to Prabhu for not forcing cliched love sequences and duets which would have really upset the pace of the film. I must say though, after a point, the loop sequences starts getting repetitive.
I saw somewhere Venkat Prabhu claiming that the idea of Time loop was an afterthought. Remove the time loop and this film would have fallen flat. This is a film that rests on its “Craft”. Watch it once exactly for that.