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Movie review: Maan Karate is a messed-up bout

movie-reviews Updated: Apr 05, 2014 12:24 IST
Gautaman Bhaskaran
Gautaman Bhaskaran
Hindustan Times
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Maan Karate – like many other Tamil films – has an interesting plot, but the way it is scripted and narrated is illogical. Five IT professionals go on a vacation, and while one of them, a girl, swims underwater, she meets a sage who later grants them a wish. A Tamil newspaper dated some months later is what they want.

Maan Karate

Direction: K Thirukumaran

Cast: Sivakarthikeyan, Hansika Motwane, Soori

Running time: 144 minutes

Rating *1/2

It talks about their firm shutting down, a hailstorm in Chennai and a guy called Peter, who will win a prize money of Rs 2 crore in a boxing bout. When the company closes down and the hailstorm hits the city, the five begin their search for Peter. And they find him, but seem blissfully callous about whether he is a fighter at all. Come on, IT guys are smarter than this.

Now, let us not ask how the three young men and the two young women find this needle called Peter in the haystack of Chennai’s millions. Once you turn off your thought process and restrict your reasoning to just staring at this dashing Peter (essayed by the former television actor, Sivakarthikeyan) from Royapuram (a lower-end locality in Chennai), the movie drags you along in its sometimes strong, sometimes weak currents, interspersed with the silliest of songs and the dumbest of dances. Admittedly, Sivakarthikeyan is good on his feet, but then I was given to understand that this was a film about boxing.

Of course, the fights in the ring are there all right, but towards the end, and some of them with comedian Soori (somewhat jaded here) as the referee. Must cinema fall into frivolity to try and make a point? And even the final do-or-die match between Peter and another fighter, also called Peter, but Peter the Killer, lacks the, well, killer instinct.

And why does Sivakarthikeyan’s Peter – no boxer at all – get into the suicidal deal with the five. He does this to impress Yazhini (Hansika Motwane), the girl he is smitten by, and she likes sporty boys.

A touch of impending tragedy, a plea for mercy by Peter (he wallows in self-pity) and Peter the Killer’s lust for Yazhini (despite him having a girlfriend) turn Maan Karate into a salad. But only that the ingredients here do not blend into one.

The love story, the greed of the five laced with stupidity, the boxing or an apology for it, and to boot, Yazhini’s father, who will only have a son-in-law who can recite at least 10 rhyming couplets from 1330 which Tamil poet Thiruvalluvar wrote, mess up movie.