Manjhi The Mountain Man - Review

wogma rating: Add to 'must watch' list (?)
quick review:

Leaves you worried from within. Worried for the country, worried for humanity. Yes, that means it is a film you must watch at least once, even if you don't rush to the theater.

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Wogma Review

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

Parental Guidance:

  • 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.

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

  • Direction: 3.5
  • Story: 4.5
  • Lead Actors: 4.5
  • Character Artists: 3
  • Dialogues: 3.5
  • Screenplay: 3
  • Music Director: 3
  • Lyrics: 3

Manjhi The Mountain Man - Movie Details

Manjhi The Mountain Man - Trailer

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Comments (5)

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Fan:

Not yet watched the promo. But Nawazudding and the intense and passionate subject of the mountain man are two factors sufficient enough for me to wait expectantly for this release.

R Doctor:

Dear Meetu, Hi, I saw this. Ketan Mehta has messed a beautiful tale of courage and LOVE. Very poor writing, and theatrical narrative. Looked to me like a Bhojpuri director is trying to make a commercial Satyajit Ray film. I recollect Ketan Mehta - Bhavni Bhavai, Mirch Masala and to some extend Maya Memsaab; but since then - he gets the story right, but execution is pathetic - including how Mangal Pandey was. Very stagy, artificial - Nawasuddin Siddique is the only saving grace. Not even Radhika Apte - who is little earnest, but that's it. I dread Ketan completing his trilogy on Jhansi Ki Rani and Bahadur Shah Jafar. Eeks...

hanish:

What happened meetu.....I feel its an excellent adaptation of a tale....with lots of hope....the government may fail but the village pitches in.....if world war too films are a must watch than this is too.....you have given far stupid tales a must watch on screen.....the obsession required for work is personified ....

Samir:

The way Ketan Mehta has told this story,one needs the fortitude of a Dashrath Manjhi to sit through this piece of garbage. Very disappointing...an unworthy companion to the equally execrable Mangal Pandey!

AL AMIN HOSSAIN:

Dear Meetu, Hi, I saw this. Ketan Mehta has messed a beautiful tale of courage and LOVE. ist a very good post thanks the page admin

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