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Movie Review: Mamangam

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Producer-Venu Kunnapilli

Director- M Padmakumar

Star Cast- Mammootty, Prachi Tehlan, Anu Sithara, Unni Mukundan and Achuthan

Genre- Historical

Rating- **1/2

Unfolds Kerala’s glorious past!

Jyothi Venkatesh

After being chased away from their own land of Thirunavaya by the treacherous Zamorins over 300 years ago, the bravest of warriors from Valluvakonathiri keep turning up at the Mamangam festival – which takes place once in 12 years for 30 days – to get back what’s rightfully theirs. The crux of the plot which is unfolded is whether, with 30,000 army at Zamorins’ disposal, revenge and redemption going to be a cake walk for the distraught or not.

Mamangam is a historical drama based on the temple fair that used to be held (once in twelve years) at Thirunavaya on the banks of Bharathapuzha during the 17th and 18th centuries. The storyline is essentially about a family of chaverukal or gladiator like sharp warriors who are trained in martial arts and are ready to die for the Velladiri rulers, the arch rivals of the Zamorins.

The movie begins during a Mamangam event, where Chandroth Valiya Panicker (Mammootty) takes on the Zamorin’s (Mohan Sharma) army with his gang of warriors.Years later, the family once again sets out to regain their lost sense of pride and self-esteem and a youth from the family, Chandroth Panicker (Unni Mukundan), announces his plan to go for Mamangam, in tow with his nephew, the young Chandunni (Achuthan).

Mammootty proves that age is no barrier for a good actor and at 68, steals the show with his various avatars including an effeminate guy and is perfectly cast in the role of Chandroth Baliya Panicker. While Mohan Sharma, who was once a leading man in the 70’s has been wasted in the role of Zamorin that does not require him to mouth even a dialogue.

Master Achuthan, as the youngest Chandroth scion to fight the Zamorins, is adorable and a force to reckon with. Despite his small frame, the child artiste manages to hold his ground while sharing the screen space with established senior actors. Prachi Tehlan lends glamour to the film with her small but well enacted role while Anu Sithara scores in her part in this predominantly male dominated film. Unni Mukundan is excellent as a dutiful son and a death-or-glory warrior, who is ready to go to painful lengths for triumph. His kind eyes give away his innermost turmoil, thus making the character both secure and vulnerable at the same time; a prerequisite for the portrayal of his character, Chandroth Panikkar. 

Music by M Jayachandran is outstanding .Though the magnificent film sets out to lay bare the glorious past of Kerala, at 157 minutes, unfortunately ‘Manamgam’ unfolds as a rather tedious watch and will appeal only to those who love to watch Mammootty in any film, whether it is good bad or for that matter ugly. While the Malayalam original will make it big , one wonders whether the Hindi , Tamil or Telugu dubbed version will be able to attract the audiences in equal measure.

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Tags: Bollywood, Bollywood News, Bollywood Updates, Television, Telly News, Movie Review, Mamangam, Mammootty, Prachi Tehlan, Anu Sithara, Unni Mukundan, Achuthan

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