As a fan of Kamal's comedy movies, I was eagerly looking forward to Manmadhan Ambu. Reviews from my friends who watched it first, were not encouraging, but press/media reviews were mostly positive.
I went to the theater with an open mind. As the movie kept unfolding, I was being drawn into it. As Ambu realizes the truth, and the movie breaks for intermission, I was so in awe of the film. I felt, after such a lovely first half, nothing could go wrong to make it bad. I was wondering how this movie could get negative reviews! I was thinking to myself that it didn’t deserve the bad reviews it got.
Post the intermission too, it was all going fine. Till the last 20 mins, where Mannar and co, start making plans to stage a “drama”. That’s where the film lost track. To me, the movie till that point and post that looked like two different films. First, a very mature story, and then, a very childish slapstick episode.
I felt cheated. Totally. It was as though the filmmakers were making a mockery of the audience, for having en the first half so seriously and building up expectations.
It is not that I hate slapstick comedies. I loved MMKR. Hell, I love Kadhala Kadhala too. And, the last 20 mins of MA kept reminding me of Kadhala Kadhala. But, while similar strategy worked in KK, it didn’t work in MA. But, why would that happen? When you watch KK, you are prepared for slapstick for, it is slapstick from start till end. You go there for slapstick, you get slapstick. You are happy.
In case of MMA, there are very few laughs in the first half (though the ads and promos project this as a full-length comedy), but I loved the few comedy sequences as none of it was not forced. It is as though, just to justify that it is a comedy movie, all the final nonsense was forced in. But, why do that? Why project it as a comedy movie?To me, it looked like Kamal & Ravikumar co somehow weren't clear what they want to serve. After a classy first half, they probably got worried that it was not mass enough, and tried to make it slapstick! And, that's why it didn't work for me!