Disclaimer: This is a futile attempt at writing a review which pleases the Kamal Fans.
Genre: Romance? / Comedy?
Starring: Kamal Hassan, Madhavan, Trisha, Sangeetha.
Music: Yo! This is DSP!
The much awaited Kamal-KSR combo movie hits the screens finally but woefully at the wrong time. The Christmas -New Year time is generally regarded as a period of joy and merrymaking and movies that are not in line with the festive mood are rarely appreciated. Man Madan Ambu starts slowly, moves at a speed that a tortoise would be proud of, wanders aimlessly like a lost pet dog and ends eons later. In fact, there is point when you feel that the luxury ship is the only thing moving in the movie and the only thing that has a final destination (Marseille is my guess). Oh yes! There is a luxury ship in the movie.
Man Madan Ambu (Cupid’s Arrow) is inevitably a love story with elements of comedy here and there. Ambujakshi aka Ambu (Trisha) is an actress who is engaged to Madana Gopal aka Madan (Madhavan), who is a filthy rich inebriate industrialist. Madan has trust issues with Ambu because of her profession and not surprisingly, they fight and take a break. She goes on a vacation to Europe in the aforementioned ship with her class mate Deepa (Sangeetha) who is a divorcee with two kids. Major Raja Mannar (Kamal) is a private detective employed by Madan to spy Ambu’s activities. Major Mannar takes this job to cover the medical expenses of his friend (Ramesh Aravind), a cancer patient. What happens next is a series of drab scenes, with occasional witty lines that evoke laughter sparsely, building up to a climax that is predictable.
Despite the lack of depth in the script, the actors have given a commendable performance. Kamal’s charisma, Trisha’s Tamil (She has dubbed for herself for the first time), Maddy’s drunken expressions and dialogues and Sangeetha’s spontaneity are some, if not all, positives of the movie. Other positives include the luxury ship, which lures the audience with its mere presence. Kamal’s narration of his past in reverse coupled with the melodious Neela Vaanam in Kamal’s voice is very impressive. The rest of the cast fails to make an impact. Ramesh Aravind and Oorvasi are generally at their best in comical roles but still have done justice to their rather downcast roles as a cancer patient and his wife.
Devi Sri Prasad’s background score is mediocre, although few songs are worth humming. Suriya’s cameo as Trisha’s co-star in the ‘Oyyala’ song is certainly applaudable. Kamal’s unbridled talent in all areas of film making is respectable but it would be better if he only does what he is best at. To sum up, Man Madan Ambu is a disheartening effort from Kamal Hassan and K.S.Ravikumar who have given us much better rib tickling comical movies such as Avai Shanmughi, Thenali and Panchathanthiram.
Verdict: For once, Cupid’s Arrow misfires.