Mamangam Movie Review Rating: 2.5/5 Stars (Two and a half stars!)
Star Cast: Mammootty, Unni Mukundan, Achuthan, Prachi Tehlan, Siddique
Director: M. Padmakumar
What’s Good: It dodges the cinematics liberties to provide you unfiltered information.
What’s Bad: In order to provide unfiltered information, it trades to gain authenticity with entertainment & that’s where it falls.
Loo Break: If you don’t take one, you should consult a doctor soon!
Watch or Not?: It’s 2 hours 36 minutes of a history chapter with just a few paragraphs of intriguing information, decode for yourself!
Set in the 18th century in the Malabar region, Mamangam is a revenge-story narrated through various chapters set around the Mamankam Festival. For those uninitiated, it’s a festival that was held every 12 years on the dry-river bed of the Bharatapuzha river. It starts with a brief yet confusing introduction about the festival and how its highlight is the 280-year old war between Zamorin ruler and Chaaverukal rulers. In the festival warriors from all over the country come to challenge the Zamroin King & lose their lives.
It starts with Pannikar (Mammootty) almost attaining the goal of the festival, which is to kill the Zamorin ruler on the throne. The story advances to tell the tale of Chandroth family who with heavy hearts send their sons Aniyaan (Unni Mukundan) & a 10-year old Chanthuni (Master Achuthan) to Mamankam. During their journey, they reunite with Pannikar who helps them to reach till Mamankam. The story is about the twists, turns in between & how Chandroth family carved their way in history.
Mamangam Movie Review: Script Analysis
Full marks for the visual appeal but by now we know it’s not enough to keep the audience intrigued for a long time. This historical drama is flawed at multiple places. It might appeal to its target audience but the subject of the film isn’t for wide people out there. Plus, the Hindi dubbing is so complicated that you miss half of the conversation.
I can totally get the level of maintaining authenticity but every successful period drama moulds the story in a way so a large number of the audience should enjoy it. Totally impressed by the dedication to make it look as it is & avoiding any cinematic liberty. But, there were times when it feels like a History class you didn’t want to be a part of. There were times where I wished to just pause the film and take out my Hindi Shabdkosh to decide what they’re talking.
Mamangam Movie Review: Star Performance
Mammootty fans might get a bit disappointed with this one. He enjoys a great character, but the scope of doing something that has a Mammootty trademark on it. He has a couple of action scenes and as a fan, I wish there were more of them. Anyhow he’s going to get seetis & taalis because that’s what his strong presence demands.
Unni Mukundan keeps a straight face & moving body throughout the film. He hides his expressions under his thick beard. Achuthan is the smallest but biggest surprise of the film. I was very skeptical from scene one but this kid carries the majority of the film on his tender shoulders. Prachi Tehlan is good but shares minimal screen-space.
Mamangam Movie Review: Direction, Music
All hail M. Padmakumar for maintaining an authentic aura throughout the film. He uses the locations as characters in the film. With those dim-lit lamps & an extravagant festival, Padmakumar manages the richness through technical aspects of the film. Though he goes over-the-top with the action and I wish that could’ve been subtler.
M. Jayachandran might have composed good songs in the Malayalam version but the Hindi ones are forgettable. Guessing by the placements of the songs, they are not required in any of the versions. Sanchit & Ankit Balhara’s background score is passable. Lacks the adrenaline rush that comes usually with the scores of period dramas.
Mamangam Movie Review: The Last Word
All said and done, Mamangam packs great untold information but it’s also bundled with many burdened flaws. One can enjoy it for its authenticity but not many will be able to sit throughout the film. A tiring watch!
Two and a half stars!
Mamangam releases on 12th December, 2019.
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