Movie: Mappillai

Cast: Dhanush, Hansika Motwani, Manisha Koirala

“Mappillai” is a Sun Pictures venture starring Dhanush, Hansika Motwani, Manisha Koirala, and directed by Suraaj. The film is a remake of the yesteryear Rajinikanth hit movie of the same name.

The plot is about this clash-of-qualities and “money-isn't-what-you-need” stuff between the protagonist and his mother-in-law. Supposed to be a comic caper, the movie isn't promising. In fact, the movie is quite a drag throughout its runtime, and seldom picks up pace.

Mixed bag

Dhanush, as usual, performs his best. Being branded as Sun Pictures' new lucky mascot, he carries the role with ease. Hansika Motwani, Kollywood's newest find who's got a bunch of big movies in her bag, definitely has a long way to go. Yes, this cute little glam doll can pull out some nice expressions, but the movie doesn't offer a lot for her. Manisha Koirala's return to Tamil cinema, after a long gap (“Baba” was her last movie, right?) perhaps isn't the big break she expected. Vivek, a usual part of Suraaj's team, fails to impress. And honestly, weird hairdos and wannabe accents do not make us laugh.

Ashish Vidyarthi may pretty well be the saviour of this movie. His performance in the last 10 minutes is, perhaps the most entertaining part of it. Mani Sharma definitely seems to be running out of tunes. There plays the song, and you think “Haven't I heard this already in ‘Padikkadhavan'? No, no. That's a different Dhanush movie, right?”

And finally, we come to Suraaj. This director, known for his commercial entertainers aimed right at the B and C centres, has tried to rework the magic of the runaway hit “Padikkadhavan”. But, it doesn't seem to have clicked here. The movie, perhaps has not lived up to its expectations.

Bottomline: You walk in. You sit there for two-and-a-half hours. And if you're an ardent Tamil movie buff, you tend to think, “Haven't I seen this movie earlier? What did they call it last time — ‘Sandai'? No, something else. Oh wait, it's a remake, right? Gosh!”

How long will these commercial extravaganzas keep rolling out?