Solid: Ashok Selvan, Samyuktha Hegde, Riya Suman
Director: Venkat Prabhu
Venkat Prabhu is considered one of Tamil cinema’s adventurous filmmakers. That he continues to stay so throughout the notorious mainstream is all of the extra proof that he’s been efficiently adventurous. As a result of nobody else would have dared to make a full-length function about an unremarkable man’s gaaji (might be loosely and mirthlessly translated to attractive), stacking boring occasions repeating themselves, operating in a story and visible parallel, throughout two timelines. In Manmadha Leelai, Venkat Prabhu not solely makes an attempt this, however manages to not bungle it completely.
Manmadha Leelai, thoughtfully captioned “A Venkat Prabhu Quickie”, is the story of Sathya (an unassumingly efficient Ashok Selvan) , the aforementioned man who runs round in gaaji. Over ten years, he stays a creep, will get caught within the act in the identical foolish method of coincidence, and emerges miraculously victorious by repeating his single unbelievable trick.
It’s as if the prescient director — who shares screenplay credit with Manivannan Balasubramaniam — is aware of that there’s barely any substance in his movie. So, he retains it nicely below two hours. He additionally constructions it as parallel tracks, self-consciously admitting to the viewers that the occasions are going to repeat themselves. When the intermission got here slightly below an hour, I discovered myself delighted that we’ll get to the tip of it quickly. As a result of in Manmadha Leelai, not like his meticulously written earlier movie Maanaadu, the vacation spot is extra necessary than the journey. The truth is, the journey itself is pretty painful.
There may be barely something humorous or attention-grabbing in regards to the first two acts of the movie. It’s so commonplace that you simply and I are prone to have had extra curious encounters. The movie grinds on like it’s written by school college students amused by themselves. The one trick that breaks the monotony is the swap between the 2 timelines. Even that’s squeezed dry, leaving the viewer stressed for motion.
Premji Amaren’s background rating doesn’t do a lot both. At locations, it’s particularly jarring. Take, for example, the scene the place after just a few rounds of ingesting, Sathya goes to a different a part of the home to pour them their subsequent. Then, all of the sudden, Leela doesn’t reply to Sathya’s query from afar. He goes searching for her, throughout which Premji Amaren fills the scene with ominous music — maybe anticipating us to suppose she’s been murdered or one thing. But, the apparent follows. I can say with confidence that nobody was fooled by this effort at dishonest the viewers.
The gaze is commonly voyeuristic, as we now have come to count on of movies that peg themselves as grownup comedy. Cinematographer Thamizh Azhagan makes use of a number of pictures of Leela’s (Riya Suman) disembodied legs, arms and breasts to symbolize Sathya’s horniness. In doing so, the movie condones Sathya’s behaviour, making us see the world from his amoral perspective.
However, Manmadha Leelai doesn’t shortchange the ladies completely, although. Anu (Smruthi Venkat) isn’t offered as a nagging spouse — the movie on no account implies that she is the rationale for Sathya’s meandering methods. She isn’t there to invoke sympathy for Sathya, nor does she behave in any method of self-loathing or inadequacy. In that, Manmadha Leelai is not any Chinna Veedu.
Even Leela isn’t written as simple. She is manipulative and that’s there for all to see. The truth is, when the manipulation is revealed, we distinctly see Sathya as silly. There are a number of pictures of Sathya dishonest on his spouse of their mattress, with an enormous household picture hanging by the mattress.
The very best of the roles is written for Poorni (a pleasantly stunning Samyuktha Hegde), who’s brimming with amusing amorality. The purpose at which her lies crumble is the one humorous scene within the movie. With out giving an excessive amount of away, the state of affairs — and the emotional aftermath — through which Sathya finds himself at that time is how Manmadha Leelai ought to have ended. That’s the adventurous Venkat Prabhu I’d pay cash to look at.
Besides, in Manmadha Leelai, Venkat Prabhu settles for a lot a lot much less. Regardless of the fantastic alternative, he hangs on to the thought of Sathya because the hero and provides him a dramatically victorious decision. Consequently, Manmadha Leelai is an unsatisfying quickie, particularly in the event you’re a lady within the viewers. Even when the ache isn’t insufferable, the trouble to sit down via it’s most actually not value it.