Hari's Reviews

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Mannan (1992)

Created: Sat Mar 20 21:08:12 2010 | Last modified: Sat Mar 20 21:18:11 2010

Rating: ******----

Year: 1992
Language: Tamil
Starring: Rajnikanth, Khushboo, Vijayshanti
Direction: P.Vasu
Music: Ilayaraja


Rajnikanth sparkles in roles where he is pitted against an arrogant woman whose sole intention is to subdue and dominate over him. Mannan is one of those politically incorrect movies where the hero "tames" the arrogant, haughty woman and gives her a lesson on how to behave like a lady. The story briefly is this: Krishnan (played by Rajnikanth) gets a job as the chief mechanic of a factory owned by Shanti (played by Vijayshanti), an arrogant, hot-tempered woman who's used to getting her own way. Krishnan, who is a devoted son to his disabled mother, quickly finds himself pitted against the manager and is elected the union leader much to the annoyance of Shanti. Shanti then tries to control Krishnan by forcibly marrying him, but things work out differently as Krishnan is a proud and independent character and a personality clash is inevitable. The story is also spiced up by the presence of a villainous rival factory owner who will go to any length to see Shanti out of business. This leads to an action-packed climax with Shanti's mansion being burned down by the villain and Krishnan coming to the rescue. All's well that ends well and Shanti suddenly transforms into a devoted, domesticated wife!

In spite of its somewhat dodgy message (although I think the writers showed a different kind of "working" woman in the form of Khushboo to prove that they're not against empowered woman), it is a good entertainer. The story is racy and keeps the viewer interested throughout. There is also enough sentiment in the form of Krishnan's devotion to his mother. Vijayshanti excels in a role as a somewhat neurotic character and is the perfect foil to Rajnikanth. Khushboo as the disappointed lover of Krishnan does a good job in a subdued role while Visu and Manorama also provide the necessary support roles. The comedy scenes in the early part of the movie involving Krishnan and Muthu (played by Koundamani) - particularly the one where they shirk duty to watch a movie and then get caught - are excellent too. All in all, this is a well rounded entertainment package with the necessary doses of sentiment, comedy, drama and action. However suspension of disbelief is a necessary component in such movies, particularly with the feel-good ending.