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Review by : Behindwoods review board
Starring: Karu Palaniappan, Meenakshi, Santhanam, Rishi
Direction: Karu Palaniappan
Music: Vidyasagar
Production: Karthik Nagarajan

This seems to be the season of directors attempting to prove their worth in front of the camera. The latest to join this creative quest is Karu Palaniappan who has also doubled up as the man wielding the baton in Indira Pictures Mandira Punnagai. Palaniappan, after having delivered memorable feel good films like Parthiban Kanavu,
  Mandhira Punnagai
Pirivom Sandippom which were relationship oriented, has attempted a different facet of human emotion in Mandhira Punnagai.

Kadir (Karu Palaniappan), an intelligent architect is known for his acerbic tongue and waywardly life. He does not live by any rules. He is an antithesis of good behavior and hence is not popular in his apartment. His chutzpah does not let anyone near him. In comes Nandini (Meenakshi), an executive in a car showroom. Kadir does the architectural plan for Nandini’s office and the duo meet. Kadir’s candor impresses Nandini and she is attracted towards him. On Kadir’s side, Nandini reminds him of his mother in certain situations and love blossoms. At this juncture is placed the twist in the film which in fact sets the ball rolling for the rest of the happenings.

It is indeed a rarity to see a flawed personality as a hero in Tamil film which is something different in MP. The film takes its own time to unfold and its lengthiness also works to its disadvantage. MP starts off slowly, meanders in its course, peaks at some places especially during flash back sequences but ends up as mediocre. Although a succulent theme, director Palaniappan could have handled the plot in a coherent manner and he disappoints his audience this time as he loses his grip on them majorly. A crisper package would have definitely helped the film. In short MP lacks in a powerful and a cohesive screenplay.

Characterization is good in the film and Palaniappan and Meenakshi fit their roles well. As in any of Palaniappan’s films, the heroine shares equal importance with the hero and Meenakshi who detoured to glamour track after her initial ‘homely’ act in a few films, has done a decent job. Palaniappan as the caustic Kadir is perfect but the lack of modulation and emotion in his voice comes in the way of the powerful content that spews out. It is like a mismatch between words and their expression. Santhanam as Kadir’s friend is his usual self and his comedy does not appeal in most places. Thambi Ramaiah, Rishi and others form the supporting cast. Moser Baer Dhananjeyan appears in a small cameo.

Dialogues are the major and in fact one of the few plusses of MP. Bhaskar Shakthi should be lauded to have come out with pungent statements which characterize the protagonist and strikes you sharply. If this ‘punch’ had been effectively utilized, the film would have been impactful. Santhanam’s family sequences are totally disjointed and you wonder why they are the in the film at all.

Vidya Sagar’s music is just ordinary and does not add any value or dimension to the film. The songs appear forced and fall flat. Cinematography that is needed for the film has been rendered by Ramnath Shetty.

Certain questions do arise as to who has funded Kadir’s education for him to be a successful architect. Mandhira Punnagai would have worked if its minuses were pruned and pluses exploited to their hilt.

Verdict: Skewed Smile

Tags : Mandhira Punnagai, Meenakshi, Karu Palaniappan, Santhanam
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