The last release of 2011 was perhaps the most rasping social statement of the year – Mahaan Kanakku. The movie takes up a very pressing issue and goes full throttle at it. Many other movies in the past have had brief feelers against this issue, but this is the first movie that delves completely into it. What’s the issue? Private banks and their loan retrieval methods. In the urban and suburban setting, this is one problem that most people from the middle class have faced directly or indirectly. So, there is an instant connect between the viewer and the central issue.
The director spends some amount of time in portraying the pretty cruel and sometimes illegal means used by banks to recover their dues. He effectively shows the gradual mental breakdown of a person who has to face the insult of just not being able to pay up while also telling us that the interest rates and penalties charged may sometimes amount to more than the principal itself. It is then that he embarks on the central conflict, the hero who decides to take down the banks with their own game.
The modus is simple, intelligent and very effective; you are not going to read any of that here. The only thing that can be said without spoiling the fun is that the protagonist uses the loopholes in the banking system, the pressure on managers to achieve targets and their ambitions to get a promotion in order to play a game that teaches the banks a lesson while keeping him absolutely safe. If you like this summary; go watch the game in theatres.
One thing is clear; many people agree with the sentiments expressed in the movie. When the protagonist brings the entire banking establishment to its knees, there seems to be waves of approval in the theatre; obviously many people loved it. The good thing about the movie is it does not contain the mandatory romance and duet routine (sigh of relief) and there are no fights in the climax because there is no villain – the system and not a person is the villain. The climatic portions in the court are very interesting.
Mahaan Kanakku is not a gripping thriller or a full length entertainer. It is a well taken story with a series of intelligent moves; of course, you need to suspend your disbelief a wee bit; but haven’t we done that scores of times before? The movie scores as a strong statement on the contemporary financial practices of banks on the whole which lets big fish roam free while harrying the smaller ones.
Ramana, seen in Nayakan and Thambi Arjuna, is impressive. He doesn’t flex his muscles for a change, he uses his brains and it has worked well. You will also be pleased with Saravana Subbiah who appears as an auditor/investigator.
Whatever you like about this movie or not; you will never fail to smile on hearing names like ‘Nutty Bank’ and ‘OCOC Bank’; this movie does have contemporary relevance. While movies like Ethan briefly touched upon the banking problem, Mahaan Kanakku goes for the throat and gets it.
Verdict: This loan is worth taking!