Director Venkat Prabhu deserves a big applause for succeeding in making the not-easy-to-understand idea of time loops entertaining for the regular moviegoer who may not care about science-fiction. The success of the film, Maanadu (மாநாடு) was earned by the excellent acting of Silambarasan and S J Suryah, an apt theme that resonates with the Tamil audience, and a fast-paced screenplay that had little slack. Available on Sony Liv, the film gets my Ripe rating, don’t miss it.
It all starts with an NRI, Abdul Khaliq (Silambarasan) sitting next to a young lady Seetha (Kalyani Priyadarshan) on a flight to Coimbatore. On landing, he leaves with his friends to Ooty to attend a friend’s wedding. At the wedding, things don’t go well as per the friends’ plan. Worse, it lands Abdul and his friends in the middle of a deadly plot by the police. Realising if he fails to act, a bloodbath in the state on religious lines is inevitable, Abdul tries to unravel the mystery. In this, he is helped by, for unknown reasons, the same-day repeating itself every time he gets killed.
Simbhu looks refreshingly fit and brisk, the best he has looked in years and he utilizes his fitness to the fullest – as he gets down from the flight, runs, jumps, rides a bike, races a car, fights the bad guys and more, he moves fast and without missing a beat. S J Suryah has given a great performance in the role of a bad cop, he has proven to be a talented actor and I wish to see him do more films featuring this (acting) dimension of him. The film is a tussle between Simbhu and Suryah‘s characters, so Kalyani‘s role has a limited scope, but she has done justice, and danced well too in the only song. The Tamil stage veteran Y. G. Mahendran, who over-acts in many of his films, has given a measured delivery that suited the story. It was good to see Vagai Chandrasekhar on screen after many years.
The first half of the movie was slow, a bit boring, but once the focus shifts to the protagonist, the Police DCP V. Dhanushkodi it goes in high gear and we move to the edge of our seats.
The dialogue spoken by S J Suryah character – வந்தான், சுட்டான், செத்தான், ரிப்பீட்டு (He came, he shot, he died and repeat) will be remembered by the audience for a long time.