Shri is a youngster who comes to Chennai from a small town near Trichy to get a well paying IT job. He is so new to the city that he does not know route to move from one place to another in this metropolitan city.
Regina is the one who selects Shri for a job in an IT company. She is being followed by her college mate (Sundeep Kishan), who is in love with her. Regina wants him to get a job. So he decides to attend the interview in the same company as her. At the same time he also decides to attack a few rogues who stalk her. Sundeep’s actions make Shri as a scapegoat in multiple situations.
Meanwhile a gang of thieves kidnaps the son of an influential mafia leader P.K.Pandian aka PKP(Madhusudhanan) due to a mistake committed by a novice (Ramdoss).
Charlie is a migrant taxi driver who purchases a car from the PKP for loan. And there is a corrupt police officer.
All these persons from different situation and lifestyles crisscross each other due to the incidents happening in a few days. This affects the life of each other and through that some true lessons about life in Chennai has been conveyed to the audience.
Maanagaram is a movie on mostly the darker side of Chennai city. It revolves around the bitter and brutal experiences of an innocent youngster who is new to the city. Director Lokesh Kanakaraj has brilliantly shown the darker faces of Chennai with a lot of authenticity. The movie has multi layered stories which have been smoothly put together to give us a unique experience on screen. The screenplay is fast as the twists are interesting and mostly unexpected. The characterizations, dialogues, scene execution are commendable. the set up form the climax and the climax are well narrated.
However, it is too hard to digest too many coincident moving the story ahead. It is understandable that the director wants to show the possibilities of the plights one would undergo in a city that has a lot of shades and dimensions. He has also shown us the positives sides. He has shown the reality with some unacceptable coincident and that dampens the impact of the movie up to some extent. But the director has made it up with an appropriate and convincing emotional aspect at the end. The character of Ramadoss maybe a bit exaggerated but the director has smartly presented this as a balancing factor of the dark drama.
Shri’s character has a lot of scope for emotions and the youngster carries this responsibility with sheer finesse. Sundeep Kishan is apt for the role of a angry young man with a social concern. Regina has less screen space and aptly gives what is required for the role.
Charlie is at his usual best and Madhusudhanan carries the character of an influential big shot with phenomenal aura. Ramadoss takes care of comedy and he ensures many laugh out loud moments whenever he appears on the screen.
The actors who have played the roles of the corrupt inspector and his good hearted subordinate, Shri’s friend, and the boy who gets kidnapped make a positive mark with their performances.
Javed Riaz’s pulsating background score enhances the thrill factor and he plays well with silence too. Selvakumar’s cinematography captures the day and night of Chennai with its real colour and the visuals are of high quality. Editor Philomin Raj has worked in tandem with the scriptwriter director ensure that the complex narrative does not confuse the audience even a bit.
Excessive dependence on Coincidences
A few logical loopholes
Maanagaram shows the multiple shades of Chennai city with a smartly executed racy screenplay.
Maanagaram: City in a different light.
Written and Directed by Lokesh Kanakaraj
Cast: Shri, Sundeep Kishan, Regina Cassandra, Charlie, Madhusadhanan, Ramadoss and many others
Music: Javed Riaz
Editor: Philomin Raj