Cast: Sree, Sundeep Kishan, Regina Cassandra, Charlie, Ramdoss
Direction: Lokesh Kanagaraj
Mumbai: It’s a season of debutant filmmakers who have not tutored under anyone and yet shine brilliantly when given a chance. Lokesh Kanagaraj’s ‘Maanagaram’ (Big City), which is a realistic take on life in a metropolitan, is one fine example. With a solid story, deft handling and a seamless screenplay (despite a complex script), extracting the best of performances from the entire cast, picture perfect frames (Selvakumar), engrossing music (Javed Riaz) and crisp editing (Philomin Raj), Lokesh has weaved a captivating thriller which is not to be missed.
A film that follows hyper-link pattern, multiple stories happening at different places converge at one point. Set in the big city of Chennai, a youngster (Sree) from a small town comes to the city for a job opportunity at an IT firm. After he bags the job, on the same night he is beaten up on the road for mistaken identity and no one seems to come for his help. He gets annoyed about how insensitive are the people of the city.
On the other hand, there is this young brash Sundeep Kishan who is good at heart and madly in love with his college mate and HR in charge at the IT firm (Regina Cassandra) and goes to any extent to safeguard her. Then you have this soft-natured migrant driver (Charlie), who comes to Chennai for the treatment of his ailing son and lands up the job as a call taxi driver. There’s also this notorious mafia gang leader PKB (Madhusudhan), a corrupt policeman who is Sundeep’s uncle, and a group of ruthless thugs with a misfit amongst them (Ramdoss.) He kidnaps the wrong child (who happens to be PKB’s son) and ever since is on a damage control exercise. How all the characters get interlinked in the climax forms the rest.
Sree has given an admirable performance and brings out a gamut of emotions like angst, desperation, compassion and helplessness in the right manner. Sundeep with his new makeover of a rugged person is equally impressive. He is full of energy and sparkles in action sequences. Regina in a limited scope does a decent job and she looks perfect for the role. The ever-dependable Charlie proves his versatility in a role with lot of scope. Madhusudhan, the inspector and constable are aptly cast and they put up a good show.
But it was Ramdoss (more known as Munishkanth) who is clearly the scene-stealer. As a naïve kidnapper, he beings the roof down with his one-liner antics and even the dark humor works to a great extent. Overall, an absorbing emotional thriller that is a must watch movie.