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Mamangam movie review : An Eye Poppingly Heart Rending Spectacle

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MAMANGAM movie review is here. The Malayalam-language period action drama stars Mammootty, Achuthan, Unni Mukundan and Prachi Tehlan. Originally shot in Malayalam, MAMANGAM directed by M. Padmakumar, is dubbed in Tamil, Telugu and Hindi and simultaneously has released worldwide on 12 December 2019.

Does it fulfills the mammoth expectations from epic starring Mammootty?. Let’s find out in the movie review of MAMANGAM

Immediate reaction when the end credits roll

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How can a period war epic having all the finesse of a magnum opus and breathtaking action pieces with one of the finest actors alive in India – Mammootty fail to get that decisive ‘winning’ sweep.

The Story of MAMANGAM
Chandroth Panickker (Unni Mukundan) a Chaaverukal warrior gets a dream that divine goddess ( believed to be Ganga) has asked him takes a lead and come forward to fight for the pride of Valluvakonathiri and kill the Zamorin ruler (played by Mohan Sharma). For years, the Chaaverukal warriors are plotting to overthrow the Zamorin rulers who have acquired the leadership by betrayal. A young 12-year-old

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braveheart Chandroth Chanthunni (Achuthan) also joins his uncle. On their mission, a mysterious painter Chaver(Mammootty) comes across and some unknown facts from the past are revealed. Who is Chaver?, what connection he has with the grand MAMANGAM festival and that fight for honour?.

MAMANGAM movie review
Sajeev Pillai and Shankar Ramakrishnan (adapted screenplay and dialogues) take a chapter from the folk lore’s of Mamankam festival and create a fictional epic based on the historic fact of the Mamankam festival held during the 18th century in the banks of the Bharathappuzha at Tirunavaya, in the Malabar region of south India.

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It’s not a historical, a period action epic primarily and epic fiction adventures require engagement from the root level and some establishment before the high octane action.

Director M. Padmakumar and writers Sajeev Pillai and Shankar Ramakrishnan give a brief animated background of the Mamankam festival and the betrayal that lead to the suicide warriors pledging war till death to regain their lost pride. After the initial introductory brief, that movie gets into a deadly action sequence that introduces Mammootty and suddenly he disappears and the movie leaps forward to 24 years.

The core idea of valour, sacrifice, pride, revenge and forgiveness – a known thread in period based escapist blockbusters is not utilized to its potential in the movie. After the spectacular opening action sequence, the movie adapts a leisurely theatre /soap opera mode and suddenly we find homage to Akira Kurosawa’s game changer RASHOMON ala DRISHYAM.

Going round and round and finally coming to the ‘actual’ conclusion, in this process the movie finds the interest level amongst the audience diminishing and with predictable turns and lack of solid entertaining moments, humour, this epic drama turns boring.

Though technically it’s a well crafted and lavishly mounted production that is eye-popping with its grandeur, scale, and visuals. Manoj Pillai’s cinematography is a treat to the naked eyes. Music by M. Jayachandran and the background score by Sanchit Balhara and Ankit Balhara is atmospheric setting the mood. The action pieces are outstanding and really pulse rising to the hilt.

Mammotty shows his mastery as an actor, performer and he is just excellent.

Unni Mukundam is marvelous as the intense warrior.

Master Achuthan is a bundle of talent and he is just awesome in the action sequences.

The supporting cast chips in with valuable support – Siddique as the Zamorin advisor is fantastic. Prachi Tehlan impresses. Iniya leaves her mark as well.

Final words
MAMANGAM – has the swordplay, grandiosity, scale and a vision but it lacks the ‘winning’ sweep due to its prolonged indulgence basking in the theatric drama that steals the audience from that expected grand wholesome entertainment.

Looking at the towering potential of Mammotty as an actor and the core theme of MAMANGAM which could have been the Indian answer to Jet Li’s ‘HERO’, John Woo’s RED CLIFF, etc.

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Critic Rating

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