Manjhi-The Mountain Man Review: Shaandaar!
Whenever Ketan Mehta paints his vision on the silver screen, be rest assured the man has something beautiful in store. With Manjhi- The Mountain Man he brings us a story that is going to stay fresh in the minds. The beautiful tale of Dasrath Manjhi is something you shouldn’t miss out on. And with Nawazuddin Siddiqui films barely go wrong.
The man, who single-handedly destroyed a mountain, is an unsung hero from the small village people know less of. In love completely with his wife, who lost her life due to the difficulties presented by the mountain in the way, fuel his fire to cut through it and make a passage.
Story that spans post independence and is told beautifully and the dialogues are winners for sure. With great acting by Nawaz and a substantial role by Radhika Apte, the movie is gripping. One villager who was deemed eccentric by the rest, did what people thought was unachievable. He started hammering the mountain in 1960 and it took him 22 years to complete the challenge he took up.
From a backward class, the film tackles many issues subtly if not screaming them at your face. The film isn’t perfect, but Ketan Mehta’s direction and Nawaz’s earnest performance will make you believe that nothing is impossible.
It is one tale, not many know of and via this film, now would know. He was a simple man, who didn’t understand any language but that of love.
Nawazuddin is a one man who is achieving milestones one after another. And adding a new feather in his hat with this little gem, he is enroute to being of the most powerful actors yet again. Such natural talent had been struggling in Bollywood, and it was not until the recent years that people started taking notice of him. Ever since then there is no looking back for him. He pulls off the role very convincingly and you would happily accept him as Dasrath. With a sense of full conviction, Nawaz the mountain man did what he knows best. Act!
Radhika Apte has a brief but substantial role. She gets under the skin of the character and rocks the de-glam look. Even with the accent, she has picked it up well. Others with brief roles have contributed to the film well.
The film is shining on critics’ ratings for sure and many would count the flaws it has. I am not saying it is a perfect film, but it is a special film. Special because it has a gem like Nawaz and not everyday we hear such inspiring tales. The length of the film though slightly more than two hours, seems stretched somehow. The line of storytelling is good but then something makes it seem dragged.
Ketan Mehta has once again delivered what was expected from him. He masters the genre of biopics and was in fact one of the trendsetting directors who first started it. His vision of films always leaves us with a great story that is told masterfully. The dialogues of the film are really motivational and some quirky mannerisms by the stars will crack you up too.
Watch or not:
Commercial cinema lovers might not find it worth watching. But if you love cinema, then you wouldn’t miss out on this film. In a very artful way, this film will stay with us. From it we would know, that there was once a man who did what was extremely difficult but not undoable. “Bhagwan ke bharose mat baitho, kya pata woh tumhare bharose baitha ho?” Go watch Manjhi-The Mountain Man. It is ‘Shaandaar. Zabardast. Zindabad.”
Thumbs Up: The spirit, acting, storyline
Thumbs Down: Length
Yawns: Maybe one