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Review by : Behindwoods review board
Starring: Arun Vijay, Dhanshika, Prabhu, Karthik, Suresh Gopi.
Direction: A Venkatesh
Music: Mani Sharma
Production: Feather Touch Entertainment
The Malai Malai team is back again, expecting to recreate or even better the success they had the first time round. For their second outing, they have chosen to remake a Telugu super hit Lakshyam which looks to satisfy all kinds of audiences. Maanja Velu is a venture that is laden with an array of stars and familiar faces and Feather Touch Entertainments has not left any stone unturned to make sure that their second outing doesn’t fall short of their previous effort.

Maanja Velu tells the story of a happy family. Arun Vijay is the youngest son of the family and Karthik (hot on a comeback trail) is his elder brother. Anu Haasan plays Karthik’s wife. Karthik is an honest and righteous cop and this guarantees that there are quite a few criminals baying for his blood. Karthik’s adversaries plot a way of finishing him. Does he walk into the trap? What happens after and how Arun Vijay gets involved in this and gets even with the criminals forms the story of Maanja Velu in a nutshell.

  Maanja Velu
Maanja Velu is a fine mix of all the elements that go towards making a mass masala entertainer. There is the happy family, romance, and ample scope for comedy, oodles of sentiments, action and revenge. Having been adapted from a super hit Telugu movie, one does expect Maanja Velu to deliver, but it does seem to lack that vital punch which would have made it a sure bet at the box office. One feels that director A. Venkatesh (in charge of the screenplay) could have had a better grip on the proceedings. Having said that, Maanja Velu is hardly a bad or boring movie. It has got a screenplay that maintains consistent tempo and some top class performers who make it worth a watch.

Talking about the cast will take some doing because of the array of artistes present. But, first one has to discuss Karthik. If anyone has to know the meaning of a great comeback, then they have to go and watch Karthik in Maanja Velu. He surprises and delights. Surprises, because after all these years of oblivion he has come back looking just as dashing and charming as he was in his heydays. Delightful, because Tamil cinema has been missing this kind of an actor for sometime now. One great thing about this comeback is that like many other lead actors of his time, Karthik has not resurfaced as a senior character artiste. Looking at him in Maanja Velu, one feels that he is good enough to reemerge as a lead star all over again. At many points in the movie he rolls back the years and his fans (there were quite a few of them in the audience) were in raptures, especially when he danced to ‘Rajadhi Raja’ song from ‘Agninatchathiram’. All in all, this is one of the best comebacks of the decade and we hope he is here to stay.

Arun Vijay has very evidently worked out of his skin to bring out a good product. The effort can be seen in the way he has improved in the dance and fight sequences. He, along with Karthik, carries the movie effectively on their shoulders well close to the climax where Prabhu appears as a police officer and adds immense value. In a short role, Prabhu shows how experienced and classy he is, a fine cameo. Others in the cast, including Vijayakumar (as Arun Vijay’s father) and Anu Haasan are apt for their roles, while Kota Sreenivasa Rao is as convincing as ever as the villain. Comic acts by Ganja Karuppu and Santhanam are enjoyable at points, with the latter scoring well. But, there are points where the jokes fall flat. All said and done, casting is definitely one of the strongest points of Maanja Velu.

One element present in pretty strong doses in Maanja Velu is glamour and that has been taken care of by Thanshika. Three songs seem to have been tailor made for glamour parades and they have been exploited to the full. One wonders how it will go down with the families.

The technical crew has supported the movie well, but there is nothing spectacular. But, the producer’s commitment towards delivering a quality product is evident at many points, especially the locations in which the songs have been shot.

Maanja Velu is an entertainer that aims to satisfy all types of audiences and A. Venkatesh has managed to create a screenplay that takes care of all requirements. But, there is a feeling that the full potential of the script has not been realized. It is still a decent entertainer which can be watched especially for its wonderful casting.

Verdict: Balanced commercial mix

Tags : Maanja Velu, Arun Vijay, Prabhu, Dhansika, A Venkatesh, Mani Sharma
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