Dull Period Fare
“U/A” Certified, 2 hrs 36 mins
What Is the Film About?
The warriors of Chaveru have vowed to avenge the Samudri king for their loss of respect and kingdom. It is going on for generations. They attempt to kill the Samudri at the Mamanga Mahotsavam. The younger ones are trained in Kalariyapatttu for the same. What happens when the latest turn brings the youngest of the clan to take the route?
How Is Mammoottya’s Performance?
The senior actor Mammootty has done a few roles in the past in similar space playing a warrior or a king in a period setting. He shows his legendary acting skills playing the part with subtle changes in body language. There is no ounce of overdramatisation, and everything is done subtly.
While what we have seen in the trailer showcases two sides of the character of Mammootty in the movie. There is another angle which comes as a surprise. It shows a different side to the actor and takes one by surprise – more so for the Telugu audience. More importantly, Mammootty has dubbed the part with his voice, and he deserves a special appreciation for the effort.
Direction by Padmakumar?
M Padmakumar who last came up with the engaging police investigation thriller Joseph handles the biggie Mamangam. The story of the film is simple. But it comes across as complicated, initially, and boring later due to the lack of awareness of the background.
Mamangam is a period film in its set up, but the narrative takes place like a thriller. It is something Padmakumar has handled in his previous outing. The sequences related to the investigation, pre and post-intermission are the most engaging part of the narrative. The opening and ending segment involves a massive action segment that is done well.
Apart from them, the rest of the movie feels stretched and lacks energy and connection. The emotions are overplayed and done is an elongated fashion. It bores the audience as there is lots of predictability associated with it. We know where it is headed and want the story to get going, but it takes time.
As said previously, there is disconnect from time to time due to lack of understanding of the people and the names. At times, it is like watching an educational documentary about a different culture. There are parts which are similar in terms of traditions; the revenge angle also seems fine. But, overall, the feeling of lack of familiarity stays because of the casting, setting, making and other reasons.
All of that, are all essential for Malayalam audience, no doubt, but the same things make it hard to get engaged for Telugu people. It is the reason why not all the films have that universal appeal and remain region-specific.
The climax fight sequence involving the kid is neatly done. It drags a bit after that, but the message at the end seems very relevant and timely even today.
Overall, Mamangam is a movie that is dipped inside out in local Malayalam milieu and ethos. Parts of it are engaging leaving out the contextual background. But, on the whole, it doesn’t work in Telugu dubbing.
Prachi Tehlan and Others?
There are many actors, but only a few of them have substantial parts. Unni Mukundan and kid Achuthan are fantastic in fight sequences. The youngster shines in the climax action sequence. Among the rest, Siddique is right in his character that is the antagonist of the movie. He is the typical brainy sort of villain but in a period setting.
All the female actors have a one-dimensional part. They are all brave and ready to sacrifice their lives for the men. Tarun Arora appears briefly in a well-elevated character with minimal dialogues. He is okay. Manikandan Achari and others have a scene or two to make an impression. They are alright.
Music and Other Departments?
M Jayachandran provides the music for the film. The songs are cut barring one or two. Even they add to the length. The background score by Sanchit and Ankit Balhara is fabulous. They elevate a lot of parts of the movie. The cinematography is decent. The visuals don’t have a grand appeal, though. It looks like a serial at times. The writing is honest, but the overuse of old Telugu also adds to the disconnect.
Parts of pre and post-interval
‘Grandhikam’ Sounding Telugu Dialogues
There is nothing much one can do here expect to make the same story in a fictionalised setup. In that way, the same set of characters can be mounted in a universally appealing way. But, when it is deeply rooted in one’s history, and that is the way the makers want it to be made, efforts must be made to make it palpable to a universal audience.
Did I Enjoy It?
Yes, In Parts
Will You Recommend It?
Mamangam Review by Siddartha Toleti