Have you ever wondered if a criminal lawyer is a bigger culprit than the criminal himself in few cases? Our judicial system gives even the accused an opportunity to save himself as it insists that any number of guilty can go scot-free but not one innocent should be punished. Keeping this in mind, Indian film Industry has seen many courtroom dramas. Udhayanidhi Stalin’s Manithan directed by I Ahmed is an official adaptation of the Hindi film Jolly LLB which also falls into this interesting genre; the genre is so interesting that this choice advances the film towards the victory stand.
Udhayanidhi Stalin makes sure that he gets noticed as a performer than as a hero with this film which has a very neatly written character sketch for him. Unlike his previous ventures, one gets to see Udhayanidhi gracefully letting the story and the other important roles take the front seat. Hansika is definitely sending out signals to emphasize that she can be used much more effectively than just for some song and romance routines. Her character Priya, appears whenever needed and stays in the right space.
Prakash Raj playing the very important role of Adisheshan completes the race with ease. This character is not new for him. The power in his voice and the strength in his modulation and intonation can make one perceive this film just with the audio alone. Such is the impact of his voice! Radha Ravi on the other hand proves his caliber yet again by taking advantage of the underlined humour that his character carries along. It definitely makes the viewer to wish to see him more often in roles like this. Vivek as Udhayanidhi’s uncle/sidekick, does what he can do even with his eyes closed. As a true cinema patron and as an admirer, one wishes that Vivek starts to get good character roles to play which will throw some light on the performer Vivek.
R Madhi’s camera has made sure to capture every necessary detail in an appealing manner while J. V. Manikanda Balaji could have helped the transition from one scene to another a smoother one. Few insert shots that could have given a little more clarity seem to have got chopped at the edit table unfortunately.
Santhosh Narayanan’s music takes a step forward when experienced along with the tale. But one wonders if his songs are resonating the specific emotion of love, pain, struggle more than what the character or the visuals are trying to communicate. This film is one example where the song and BGM take over the performances at times.
As it is an official adaptation of the Hindi flick, Jolly LLB, nativity and other linguistic aspects have been tweaked well to suit our audience. It is called ”adaptation” for a reason. It is not a remake! Appreciation to the director and writer Ajayan Bala for the same.
Climax dialogues, especially long ones loaded with sentiment are a sure winner with audience. You will spot a similar closure in this drama. In case of Manithan, if that dialogue had been coupled with convincing judicial aspects, the output could have been even impacfful. Nevertheless, overall an enjoyable fare!