Thursday, December 23, 2010


This fifth collaborative effort of Kamal & KS Ravikumar is nowhere near the previous four but Manmadan Ambu is a good fun film in its own right with its cheerful moments. But it somewhat lacks the thump that one would associate with a Kamal comedy caper.

The relationship of actress Nisha and a panakkaara Madanagopal is fractured thanks to his doubts over her professional life. After three years of an on-off bond, Madan hires a detective,a former Army major Mannar to check on the actress who takes a leisure trip on a cruise with her long time friend Deepa. When Mannar gives clean chit on the actress, Madan is satisfied but doesn’t wish to pay Mannar. The tricks of the Major then unfold as he takes Madan for a falsified ride and a past link of the three characters is established which turns the table on their relationships. The usual, expected confusion filled climax draws the curtains.

  • Kamal’s dialogs – There are the usual trademark sarcasms, philosophies and enjoyable comic one-liners on offer.
  • Madhavan’s performance – As the drunkard who babbles, Madhavan is terrific. The scenes in which he comes assure fun aplenty. He pips even Kamal and comes out as the best performer in the film.
  • Trisha’s characterisation – The portrayal of an actress’s character is very decent and she is shown as the only character who doesn’t do dhagadudhatham.
  • Kamal’s Screenplay (A Part of it) – The linking of the characters with an incident from the past, the scenes that precede the song ‘Ponaa pogudhunna’, the narration of the flashback with a crisp and tidy song etc.
  • Kamal’s Looks – Well, he is 56 but looks nowhere close to that. With designer outfits and red-rimmed specs/sunglasses, he looks ravishing and convinces his pairing with Trisha with aplomb and is a delight to watch.
  • Efforts in Music & Editing – Devi Sri Prasad has gone a bit out of his usual monotony and has offered some decent songs but the foot-tapping Manmadan Ambu has not been picturised. Editing’s highlight is the style followed in the song Neela Vaanam.
  • The kid who plays Sangeetha’s son. A nice little endeavour from him!
  • Lack of substance – There is definitely a lack of substance in the second half as the movie meanders towards its comedy-of-errors climax and that is why the climax,even with its good comic dialogs, looks abrupt and comes nowhere close to the climaxes of Sathi Leelavathi or MMKR. So, when Kamal gives his ‘honesty luxury’ justification, it looks irrelevant.
  • KS Ravikumar’s poor characterisations of Sangeetha and Madhavan. Their performances are good but their characters are literally made a mockery and it all starts happening towards the end of the film. Also, the needless characters of two Malayalis.
  • Kamal’s Screenplay (The other part of it) – He wastes screentime showing needless shooting scenes which he could have very well used to present the events towards the end in a better & convincing manner.
  • Kamal’s stubborn insistence on a ‘Live’ sound recording. Some of the dialogs are undecipherable as they totally get lost to the sound in the surroundings.
In all, Manmadhan Ambu passes as a decent humourous flick with some hilarious and attractive sequences but the feeling that ‘The Ambu's aim could have definitely been better’ stays which could be attributed to a rather hastily shot climax.

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