Movie: Manyam Puli
Banner: Saraswathi Films
Cast: Mohanlal, Kamalinee, Jagapathi Babu, Namitha, Lal, Kishore, Makarand Deshpande and others
Music: Gopi Sunder
Cinematography: Shaji Kumar
Producers: Sindhoora Puvvu Krishna Reddy
Story and Direction: Vyasakh
Release date: Dec 2nd, 2016
Malayalam Superstar Mohanlal appeared in two movies in Telugu this year. While NTR and Mohanlal starrer "Janatha Garage" became huge blockbuster, Mohanlal and Gauthami starrer "Manamantha" was appreciated as one of the best movies made in Telugu. So Mohanalal's dubbed movies are also creating good buzz in Telugu.
His Malayalam blockbuster "Pulimurugan" is here in Telugu as "Manyam Puli". Let's find out about its merits and demerits.
Puli Kumar (Mohanlal), a lorry driver by profession, is popular for his hunting down tigers that kill people. He saves the villagers from tigers but his wife (Kamalinee Mukherjee) doesn't like him killing the tigers and get involved in cases from the police and forest officers. He treats his younger brother as his son.
When his brother's friends say that if Kumar helps them in transporting ganja from forest to their pharma company, they will help his brother get a job in the same company. For the sake of his brother, he agrees.
For the first time he moves out of his village and the forest. What happens, what consequences he has to face?
Mohanlal, the complete actor, is impeccable in this character too that doesn't demand much performance from him but doing action stunts. Despite the fact he is in his fifties, he has looked so agile in his fight with tigers. He is best in action stunts.
Jagapathi Babu as villain is perfect. Kamalinee Mukherjee is adequate. Namitha's role is boring and the track with Mohanlal reminds is not interesting.
Terrific cinematography by Shaji Kumar has made a lot of difference the movie. The stunning location of forest and waterfalls that are captured by Shaji are eye feast.
The graphical work of recreating Tigers is flawless. The movie is made with rich production values. Music by Gopisunder is okay. The film needs trimming.
A bit lengthy
The story of 'Manyam Puli', dubbed version of Malayalam movie 'Pulimurgan' that set new records in Kerala, is as old as the Manyam forest.
The film is not about story but the eye-catching stunts, visuals and other things. For most of Telugu audiences, Mohanlal is known as best actor. Here we get to seem him the star.
The director has packaged the movie like a typical Telugu commercial action drama with a mass hero. What is different from the regular mass movies is here the hero fights with tigers mainly.
The film opens with a kid's story, the child version of Mohanlal. In the first twenty minutes, we don't see Mohanlal on screen; still we are arrested to the proceedings. Such interesting narration the director has made in the beginning.
Why the child has become tiger hunter, how Mohanlal kills the tiger to save the villagers, and the back story of Mohanlal and Kamalinee... all these are established in interesting way.
Post interval the drama shifts from man vs tiger to man vs social-animal (Pharma company owner Jagapathi Babu). These portions have nothing new to offer and the film goes down the tempo there. It comes back into the mould with the climax fight.
Despite old storyline, the movie works in parts due to Mohanlal's efforts in performing action stunts, the lavish visuals, and faultless graphics of tigers.
On the downside, the movie still troubles you along the way as the comic scenes between Mohanlal and Lal, and the romantic track between Mohanlal and Kamalinee seem odd for a Telugu audience. It also needs trimming post interval.
Even the portions involving Namitha don't evoke interest. Still, the movie makes a watchable commercial entertainer on the whole. Watch it for Mohanlal, the production ouput and stunning action stunts.
Bottom-line: Old Story, Grand Taking