Manjhi The Mountain Man - Review
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At its core, Manjhi is a romantic film. Surprisingly enough it is the typical kind of romantic film too – guy woos, puppy-eyed love happens, family opposes, couple overcomes. Yet, there is nothing typical about the way it plays out. As the political undertone gets heavier, the gut wrenches. At moments like these you thank goodness for the drama, but as usual it jolts you away from the film's reality.
When an element like slow motion or voice-over is used to add a tinge of drama in a film of this nature, the film reminds you that it is a film. But when the film is inspired from a real life situation, the relief is only temporary. Because it is only a moment before you realise that reality must be worse than what is making you cringe right now.
Sample this. 51 years. Not five decades, over five decades – that is how much time it took bureaucrats and politicians to do what they were supposed to do. Just 13 years after independence, the fight for the nation's freedom had already lost its meaning with the system taking charge in the form of corruption and nepotism. The affluent tortured the poor, just to maintain an air of power. The inhumanity has only gotten worse and there's little hope for improvement.
This is what I left the movie with.
However, the movie tells this story using Dashrath Manjhi's love for his wife. You could call him obstinate/stubborn or you could call him persistent/passionate, but the story is pretty much unbelievable. Had it not been a known true story, you'd say, “this happens only in films.”
Of course, made believable as much by its telling as by Nawazuddin Siddiqui's performance. You are so taken by Manjhi's hardwork and resolve that you completely forget – at least while watching the film – that the role must have called for a remarkable amount of the same qualities from the actor as well. What more can you say about an actor who does that to you for a couple of hours of screen time?
Radhika Apte is as sensuous as ever. She adds unexpected spunk to her character because we are so used to seeing lower caste women being demure and submissive. Tigmanshu Dhulia and Pankaj Tripathi are believable but it has become difficult to imagine them as anything other than evil incarnate.
The visuals are spectacular. Yet, the grim subject might not be your idea of entertainment. Nevertheless, you ought to see it, even if once. Maybe watching it in the cosiness of your home will add more perspective.
Manjhi is one of those films that are depressing and yet are meant to give hope. Like Dashrath say, if he can try to break a mountain, then why can't you take a crack at that mountainous problem in your life?
- meeta, a part of the audience
- Violence: Gruesome torture scenes, even if short and sometimes only implied.
- Language: A few abusive words
- Nudity & Sexual content: A lot of sensuality. A couple of scenes where sex is implied.
- Concept: That of a man in love, but that of politics and the horrific state of affairs in the interiors of the country.
- General Look and Feel: Intense and a weird combination of sad and hopeful.
Manjhi The Mountain Man - Movie Details
- Official Sites: Website Facebook Twitter YouTube Wikipedia
- Banner: Maya Movies, Viacom 18 Motion Pictures, NFDC
- Producer: Ketan Mehta
- Director: Ketan Mehta
- Lead Cast: Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Radhika Apte
- Supporting Cast: Ashutosh Acharya, Shahzad Ahmad (I), Aishwarya Arora, Suraj Bajjua, Pankaj Tripathi
- Story: Ketan Mehta, Anjum Rajbali, Mahendra Jhakar
- Screenplay: Ketan Mehta, Mahendra Jhakar
- Cinematography: Rajiv Jain
- Editor: Pratik Chitalia
- Action Choreography: Najjo Fazal Khan
- Music Director: Sandesh Shandilya
- Lyrics: Ketan Mehta, Deepak Ramola
- Art Direction: Nitin Chandrakant Desai
- Facebook Page: Link
- Running time: 120 minutes
- Reviewer: meeta
- Language: Hindi
- Country: India
- Genres: Romance, Social
Manjhi The Mountain Man - Trailer
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