Debut director and producer SPTA Kumar has made the film ‘Munnodi’ with the cast and crew filled with newcomers and less known faces . The film aspires to be an action based commercial thriller with a message and lets see how it has come out.
Sathya (Harish) loses his father during childhood. His mother (Sithara) takes extra care towards his younger brother Aravind who suffers from a peculiar heart disease and needs the keen attention of his mother. This alienates Sathya who starts hating his mom and brother.
Harish grows up as a spoilt brat and becomes a close accomplice of a powerful political don Mandhiramoorthy (Arjuna). Mandhiram’s brother in law Jeya (Paavel Navageethan) hates Sathya due to Mandhiram treating Sathya like his own brother.
The local DCP and Encounter specialist Soundarapandian (Sijoy Varghese) decides to finish off Mandhiram and his gang and he keeps waiting for the right time.
Meanwhile, Sathya while pursuing his love for Denuka (Yamini), a classmate of Aravind, understands his brother’s unconditional affection towards him. That refines Sathya and he decides to relieve himself from Mandhiram and lead a peaceful life as a good son to his mother.
Could he do that? The rest of the film answers this question.
Writer-Director Kumar has got an interesting knot revolving around a youngster spoilt due to his disenchantment with his family who refines after a point, but faces troubles due to his past activities But the film leaves a lot to be desired in terms of execution.
The story arc involving the police officer and political don is pretty interesting. The first half has a very impressive choreographed stunt scene for the latter and a few interesting one off scenes between the duo. Their character sketches are also beautifully written. And in the second half there is a great encounter plan and execution sequence which is easily the best part of the film.
While we wish for more of these two characters, the director diverts attention to the Sathya’s uninspiring love sequences, poor comedy involving the hero’s friends and unnecessary songs and these take a larger part of the film.
The hide and seek game between Sathya and Mandiram towards the climax sustains the momentum to an extent but becomes long drawn out. The twist in the climax looks like force fitted to convey a message against violence.
In short, if the writer-director who has packed the film with interesting characters and some good scenes had worked on a tighter screenplay, the film would have been much better than what it actually is.
Harish struggles harder to carry the multilayered character, but convincingly portrays the stunt scenes. Yamini as Denuka does not have scope to perform. Arjuna as a brainy and brawny don and Sijoy as a clever police officer have lifted the fate of the film with their performances. But the strong Malayalam accent in the latter’s dialogue delivery is bothersome. Pavel Navageethan goes overboard in emotions and dialogue delivery, but impresses with his performance in the climax. The sitar is convincing as a doting mother.
K.Prabhu Shankar’s bgm is apt in many sequences, but songs just pass by without making any impact. The choreography and VFX in the second half duet song make it noteworthy.
Vinoth Rathnasamy’s cinematography fits the mood of the film throughout. Stunt choreographer Danger Mani deserves kudos for his overall work and a special mention for the first fight scene involving Arjuna in front of a temple.
Editor N.Sudha could have done better in reducing the running length of the film by chopping off unwanted shots in both the halves.
Verdict- ‘Munnodi’ has some very good scenes, interesting characters and neat performances. It could have been a satisfying outing with a tighter screenplay.