Tamil Cinema has come out with a lot of movies recently; so many that you can barely apprehend the number of films that come out every week. Many such movies are desperate attempts of upcoming directors or former assistant directors of big name film makers. ..............Most of these go down the drain without a trace. I am happy to say that Mouna Guru is not such a movie.
It is something that I hope will become a good launch pad for debutant director Santha Kumar, for the man has truly made himself stand out from other modern day commercial Tamil cinema. In today's world of high-flying heroes and fight sequences capable of spoiling an entire movie, it is very reassuring to see a director stick to his story without making a lot of compromises. As tough as his job might have been, Santha Kumar has improvised on a lot of things and come up with an intriguing and mystery-filled film.
The style of the screenplay resembles the likes of Nandha, Anjaathe and Yuddham Sei who were all hits and were praised by many for its subtle and enigmatic nature. It is not hard to see that Santha Kumar has taken out a few leaves from Bala, Mysskin and the likes, but that is not a bad thing. The story has enough credibility and originality for the audience to enjoy it and almost none would raise questions about its uniqueness.
The screenplay kind of takes it's time to develop throughout the first half. Two sub-plots which appear to be proceeding by themselves are mixed together in the end of the first half and the story becomes more timid after it. There are a lot of suspense sequences that have been shot really well and there are a few occasions where it becomes more of an action movie in the second half, whenever the story demands it.
Having said all that, it might not have been possible to come up with a simple and straightforward movie if there were any big names in it. Arulnidhi who jumped into cinema with "Vamsam", after his cousin Udhayanidhi Stalin opted out of it does well in his third movie and has just about enough experience to play the lead character. His lethargic, loner-like character is carried out through the movie except maybe for the last sequences.
Iniya, who impressed in "Vaagai Sooda Vaa" has a relatively smaller role than the other main characters but makes her presence felt. Her role is vital as it makes the story more watchable for the general audience, who would otherwise get bored with the impeding suspense.
John Vijay, playing the role of Assistant Commissioner Marimuthu, is beginning to look more and more versatile with every role he plays. I have this feeling that he will become one of the popular off-beat actors like Pasupathi and Parthiban. Others characters in the tale overact every now and then, but it is not anything unnatural.
The cinematography by Mahesh Muthuswami and editing by Raja Muhammed lacked a bit of professionalism. But these are names that are just starting out in the industry and their work will definitely become better with time.
Finally, the music by Thaman is under-rated. While any of the tracks can't get enough popularity to be a chartbuster, they are certainly not bad enough for you think that the film would have been better without them.
To summarize, Mouna Guru is a good movie and the title is apt. There are neither too many action sequences nor too much suspense to kill the movie. If you want to watch a movie, don't be presumptuous and leave out Mouna Guru. For all its worth, you will certainly like it and might even love it.
Good screenplays and stories make good movies, even without all the gloss and star value. Mouna Guru is a good example.
Rating - 3.75/5 (not giving it 4 because of the cinematography and editing)
Verdict - You will not want to leave your seat.