Chennai, 03 Jun 2017 21:24 IST
A better narrative screenplay might have turned this ordinary tale of human relationships into something much more interesting.
Munnodi is a story that emphasizes the fact that even an insignificant act could have a devastating effect on others and, in due course, on oneself.
Savithri (played by Sithara) is a single mother of two children. Her elder son Sathya (played by Harish) feels lonely after the arrival of his younger brother (played by AnuKrithik). He is annoyed that his mother pays more attention to his brother. What Sathya does not understand is that his younger brother is a special child and needs all of his mother’s attention for survival.
As they grow older, Sathya’s bond with the family weakens while his bond with the family of a criminal called Manthiramoorthy (played by Arjuna) increases. However, not everybody in Manthiramoorthy’s family is happy about Sathya’s close relationship with the gangster. Manthiramoorthy’s brother-in-law Jeyaveeran (Pavel) and his cronies are jealous of the position Sathya enjoys in the gang. Needless to say, they wait for an opportunity to get rid of him.
Manthiramoorthy is one of the dons of the region and, naturally, his movements are monitored by the cops. A senior police officer called Pandian, who is keen on bringing Manthiramoorthy to justice, keeps tabs on all his associates. As a result, Sathya too finds his name on the wanted list.
It is at this time that Sathya falls in love with Denuka (Yamini Bhaskar), who happens to be his brother’s classmate. Although Sathya hates his brother, his brother has nothing but love for him.
One day, Sathya overhears a conversation between Denuka and his brother. During this meeting, Denuka makes fun of Sathya’s efforts to impress her. However, Sathya’s brother stands up for him. He tells Denuka about his heart condition and discloses to her that he is actually counting his days. As a last favour, he asks Denuka to accept his brother’s proposal.
Moved by his brother’s love for him and by the fact that his younger brother is dying, Sathya turns over a new leaf. He begins to spend more time with his family. As a result, he begins to distance himself from Manthiramoorthy and his family. It gets to a point when Sathya tells Manthiramoorthy that he no longer wishes to be associated with him.
The two part ways quite peacefully and although Jeyaveeran is pleased at the development, he still looks at Sathya as a threat and wants him dead.
In the meantime, Jeyaveeran’s boys murder a rival of Manthiramoorthy to impress the gangster. The cops, who are aware that Sathya and Manthiramoorthy have parted ways, smell a breakthrough and come up with a master plan to pit one gangster against the other, thereby bringing Manthiramoorthy to book for his crimes. Their plan works and gives rise to a huge misunderstanding within the gang. A lot of things begin to go wrong for Sathya. Eventually what stumps him is a mistake born out of his carelessness.
The film has some fine performances. Sithara, as the mother of the two boys, does a fantastic job and proves herself to be a class act. Arjuna, who played Trisha’s brother in Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa (2010), plays Manthiramoorthy to perfection. The relatively new actor has a commanding screen presence and does justice to the role. Pavel as Jeyaveeran is impressive as well with his dialogue delivery and his expressions.
The film has a fantastic stunt choreographer in Danger Mani. All the stunt sequences have been brilliantly choreographed. Every time the action erupts on screen, it brings with it an element of tension and grimness. The effort put in to these sequences is quite evident.
The film also has a good cameraman in Vinod Rathinasamy, who, right from the first frame, seems to have captured the atmosphere. Prabhu Shankar’s background score is apt and the songs have the potential to scale the popularity charts.
Director Kumar, for his part, seems to have come up with an interesting story that is full of surprises. However, the narration could have been a lot better. If he had managed that, the film would have been a winner.