After basking in the hattrick success from last year, Siva Karthikeyan is back again and he takes his audience for a reasonable ride through Maan Karate – one of the most anticipated films of 2014, directed by debutant Thirukumaran – former associate of director A.R.Murugadoss. The film which is produced by Madan of Escape Artists Motion Pictures in association with A.R.Murugadoss productions has music composed by young sensation Anirudh Ravichander, cinematography by Sukumar and the editing is handled by Sreekar Prasad. Along with Siva Karthikeyan, we see Hansika, ‘Ethir Neechal’ fame Sathish, Vamsi Krishna, Shayaji and some more to fill in the rest of the cast. With maximum hullabaloo surrounding this film ever since trailer and audio release, does it meet your expectations? Read on:

Story of Maan Karate : Story written by director A.R.Murugadoss is apparently wafer thin. It is mostly the situations, one-liners and the tempo that makes the movie tick. Maan Karate tells us about a jobless fellow – Peter (Siva Karthikeyan) who meets a group of friends who compel him to take up boxing. The reason is – Sandy (Sathish) and his friends, once in a holiday trip meet a saint and they receive a newspaper as a boon that was supposed to get published 4 months later and things start to happen according to the news published and the friends come to know that Peter will be winning a boxing competition to receive Rs 2 crore and they plan to ask for shares. And Peter falls in love with Yazhini (Hansika) at first sight and realizes that she is a sport enthusiast. To woo her, he instantly accepts boxing. But here we see another Peter (Vamsi Krishna) who is a real deadly boxer to win the title. So which Peter is taking back the 2 Cr home? Does Peter(Siva) win Yazhini’s heart? Watch the movie!

On has to wonder what director Thirukumran and his team were doing to take efforts to write the screenplay for this above mentioned plot. The premise of the film told is unclear & except Peter, the characterizations for most of them looked somewhat monotonous. One after the other, the scenes that come along are either clumsy or childish. The 1st half of Maan Karate follows the same path – current Tamil cinema formula of ‘laughs first, plot next’. So the director deals the the 1st half in a lighter tone which steadily moves on with fun elements right towards the interval block and then the important 2nd half starts losing steam with silly/ridiculous scenes for which the climax seems highly predictable and looks far stretched away. So these aspects of the film leaves a lot to be desired from the direction department.

Siva Karthikeyan starts off with the same playfulness he displayed in his previous films. The role of Peter is tailor-made to his limits, he shows a terrific sense of comedy timing and a style heroism of his own in this film. The mimic act and his one liners has been his core strengths and he shows his mettle here. He has surely improved his dance skills and dialogue deliveries, but a little more in emotionals scenes would make a larger difference.
Hansika as Siva’s romantic interest is a treat to watch. There isn’t much scope for her to act, but she still delivers a decent performance. Hansika looks radiant and as pretty as ever in her absolutely slim – trim avatar. Sathish in his usual tactics is too good and brings the house down with his instantaneous one-liners! The relation that charms us is the romance between Siva Karthikeyan and Hansika. Comedy is once more at the forefront in this film and the dialogs sparkle with wit, leading to hearty laughs. Soori’s cameo impresses in bits and pieces. Rest of the supporting cast such as Vamsi Krishna, Shayaji Shinde and Siva’s friends do not make any kind of solid impression when expected.

Maan Karate is technically sound, Anirudh is the biggest backbone of the movie with his background score lifting each scene and putting it on a pedestal. Anirudh, seems to have struck gold once again with some of his peppy numbers. But most of them doesn’t gel along with the flow of the story. “Un Vizhigalil” and “Maanja” are the pick of the lot. Beautifully shot and picturized them. Anirudh and A.R.Murugadoss who appear in the Gaana dance- “Open the tasmac” has the audience on their feet, whistling, clapping and screaming for an encore. Cinematography by Sukumar is very felicitous for the film. Editing by Sreekar Prasad could have been even more finer and sharper in 2nd half but thats all fine. The art direction needs a special mention for the grand boxing arena erected at the massive scale in the final fight is eye catchy.

Having said all these, coming to the drawbacks, the whole movie looks like a mixed bag of comedy, love, fantasy, revenge/action and leaves the audience into some sort of bewilderment in the end. The director has taken too much of freedom in writing the script with the 2nd half logics being taken for granted largely. Despite the comedy quotient working in favor of the situations, it falls out of places for no reason. The fact that Vamsi Krishna is shown as the lethal boxer loses to Siva is melodramatic towards the end and this reduces the heavy impact which supposed to happen. The basic issue is the treatment to show the transition from comedy to seriousness from director Thirukumran went wrong in execution and could have been alot better.

Overall, MAAN KARATE – though the movie isn’ t very racy, it offers something for the family audience this summer. It seems as if its another mindless romantic comedy but it has few gags and laughs to entertain, there is a bit of romance and a small message to recall –
“Nothing is impossible to a willing heart.”

My Rating : 2.75/5