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Movies Ashdoc's Movie Review---Manjhi The Mountain Man

Discussion in 'Theatre, Movies & Cinema' started by ashdoc, Aug 27, 2015.

  1. ashdoc

    ashdoc India
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    Movie Critic SPNer

    Jul 19, 2011
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    An eccentric man undertakes an impossible mission---to build a road alone through a mountain that blocks direct access to the neighbouring town . For that town has the facilities like hospitals etc that his village lacks , and it was because of the lack of these facilities that he ( Dashrath Manjhi played by Nawazuddin Siddique ) lost his beloved wife Faguniya ( played by Radhika Apte ) .


    And for Dashrath , Faguniya was life...she was his soulmate....and he was the partner that women dream of , who never remarried after her death and instead spent a lifetime trying to rectify the cause of her death so that others would not suffer her fate...

    The setting is Bihar , the badland of India...and Dashrath has the bad luck of being born in the low caste that lives eating rats for food---yeah , in some parts of India , they still do that...

    And the period is of 50 years ago , when the upper castes ruled the roost and Dashrath and his father and their caste had to suffer indignities that would shock today's people....like their women being kidnapped and raped any time....
    Any lower caste who went against the upper caste masters had horseshoes nailed to his feet , and Dashrath's intended destiny was to be a bonded labourer . But he escapes to another town and comes back only when equality of castes is declared in India...only to receive a sound beating at the hands of the goons of the upper caste landlord ( Tigmanshu Dhulia ) .

    But he has another reason to come back---the girl he was married to in childhood who is being forcibly married off to another man . And it is only after an epic struggle that he gets her....only to lose her after having two children....

    And such is his love for her that he decides to tame the mountain which prevented him from reaching the nearby town for medical aid....and he begins to cut the mountain all alone , in what is termed a mad quest by the townsfolk....but it is quest that will turn him into a legend , a man whose name will be be etched on the road that he will build and on whom this movie will be made....for it is true story !!!

    It is quest for which he toils 22 years , and he has to undergo numerous difficulties along the way....when a cobra bites him , he cuts off the toe on which it bit him for there is no other way to stop the flow of poison !!....when police arrest him for encroaching on government land for cutting the road , a newspaper reporter organizes a protest that frees him....the politicians of the town hog all the money that the government has earmarked to help him build the road and leave him penniless....famine strikes the land and leaves him alone digging for water because the people flee the place...and yet he keeps digging on....and he wins our sympathy....

    Egging him on are visions of his wife who appears to him like an angel in dreams....and the dreams are pure fantasy---of a thinly clothed Radhika Apte in white...

    But beyond dreams is the real world , and the real world for him is the state of Bihar in north India....and the barbaric atmosphere of rural Bihar that the movie creates would frighten anyone from visiting the place ever....
    The ones who do visit , like the then prime minister Indira Gandhi do not even get a decent stage to stand on and it is upto Dashrath Manjhi and his friends to hold up the creaking stage which may fall down....

    Indira Gandhi repays in the same coin by forcing the emergency ( a kind of martial law ) on India forcing one of the villagers to join the naxalite ( communist ) rebellion to kill the upper caste landlord , and Dashrath Manjhi is shown to march barefoot to Delhi for protest against this....actually this incident did not occur in his life and the director has taken pure cinematic liberty....

    All this does not unswerve Manjhi for his aim , and you begin to applaud his efforts and his devotion to his task in the later half.... and happily so do his townsfolk ---the same people who once threw stones on him castigating him as a madman now want to help him...

    So does he succeed in his goal ?? Watch the movie for that....

    Nawazuddin and Radhika have mastered the rural dialect of Bihar quite well and acting by both is top class as expected . Pankaj Tripathi acts superbly as the evil politician who lusts for Falguniya and rapes women and tries to foil every plan of Dashrath---and above all never gets punished for it....remember this is a real life story and real life villains are not subjected to poetic justice....

    And it is the stark realism of the film that will bring in the audiences....or so I hope , for this film deserves the accolades....

    Verdict---Damn good .
    Four stars .
    • Like Like x 2
    #1 ashdoc, Aug 27, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 27, 2015
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