Doing a hilarious entertainer is no tough task for Kamal Haasan and K S Ravikumar duo. Their previous encounters (barring 'Dasvatharam') proved a point that they are masters in the trade. 'Manmadhan Ambu' is obviously a cakewalk for the two, who give one of the best entertainers for Tamil cinema.
Hold on. Who said comedy movies should not have a strong storyline? 'Manmadhan Ambu' does have strong script backed by a taut screenplay. Forget the likes of 'Thenali, Avvai Shanmugi' or 'Panchathanthiram', fasten your seat belts to laugh out loud with logical sequences, and 'Manmadhan Ambu' is right there to entertain you.
It has some entertaining elements, sentiments and emotions. Spying on one's beloved seems to be the crux. A possessive industrialist hiring a private detective to follow his ladylove, who is on a holiday abroad and the sequences aftermath the mission is what the movie is all about.
Lace it up with Kamal Haasan's perfection, Madhavan's buoyant performance as possessive lover, bubbly Trisha and Sangeetha, Ravikumar's directorial touches and Udhayanidhi Stalin's production values, the film no doubt impresses.
Unlike recent run-of-the-mill-stuff, the movie has signature Kamal Haasan style of sophistication from the word go. No flashy introduction, easy dialogue without punchlines and candy floss romance is what all the movie is.
If Kamal Haasan is the flesh and blood of the movie, Ravikumar injects life with his screenplay. He ensures that momentum is not lost anywhere (how when Kamal Haasan is at the scheme of things).
Devi Sri Prasad impresses with foot-taping peppy numbers. The combined effort of Manush Nandhan's camera capturing the huge cruiser and the landscapes of Paris, DSP's racy re-recording and the wizardry of Kamal Haasan and Ravikumar makes the movie count.
Madhanagopal (Madhavan), is the son of rich industrialist couple (Kitty and Usha Uthup). He is in love in Ambujakshi (Trisha), a popular actress. He happens to visit her at a shooting spot in Kodaikanal, where she shoots with actor Suriya.
Possessive by nature, Madhanagopal mistakes her when she speaks to Jyothika and Suriya's daughter over phone. Madhan and Ambujakshi pick up quarrel and eventually ends up in an argument.
Madhan, who had been to present a car to her as gift ends up travelling in the car with her arguing which meets with a freak mishap. Meanwhile there is one Deepa (Sangeetha), a divorcee with two children, who wants to live in her own way. She decides to spend her vacation abroad.
When Ambujakshi plans to go abroad for a break to spend her vacation, Madhan suspects her and hires the help of a private detective Mannar (Kamal Haasan). Mannar assures to do the task with a promise that Madhan sponsors for his friend Rajan's (Ramesh Aravind) medical expenses. He suffers from cancer.
Mannar sets out to Paris and later on a cruise where Ambujakshi and Deepa been to. Both Deepa and Ambujakshi become acquainted and spend time with gusto. Enters Mannar, who after following Ambujakshi closely finds out that she is a upright and a sincere girl, who thinks of no one but Madhan. When he informs this, a relieved Madhan backtracks from the promise he made to Mannar.
Hence Mannar hatches a conspiracy and comes out with a story saying that she is actually dating a man. An insecure Madhan now comes to Mannar again and urges him to stay there and follow her more closely.
Meanwhile, coming to know of Madhan's act, his parents go dissatisfied with him. Actually his mother wants him to marry one of their relative (played by Oviya of 'Kalavani' fame).
As it happens Mannar and Ambujakshi come to know each other. Mannar reveals that he was a commando in Indian army and that he was married to a French woman, whom he rescued from militants in Jammu Kashmir.
But Ambu is in for a shock when Mannar says she was killed in a recent mishap at Kodaikanal and that too when a luxury car knocked her down. All is now between Ambujakshi and Mannar. What happens from here on is narrated in an interesting manner. Did Madhan get Ambu or he repent for his act forms the climax.
Kamal Haasan is there right in every department. Be it the dialogues or the subtle silent expressions, he is breezy and entertaining. He is as solid as Sachin Tendulkar, fresh even after completing 50 centuries on the Test cricket ground. His one-liners and the agile stunt sequences are a delight for audience. Kamal has ensured that his fans are not disappointed all through.
Madhavan plays a bubbly romantic youth. The complex character of an over-possessive lover is handled well by him. Trisha is not far behind. She matches Kamal Haasan in every scene with her performance. Especially her subtle emotions, cherubic dance deserve a special mention.
Sangeetha is apt for the role. She casually dons it and gives one of her best. Also the likes of Ramesh Aravind Urvashi as Ramesh Aravind's wife Mallika, Kitty and Usha Uthup among others impresses. Malayalam stars Manju Pillai and Kunjan, who play producers running behind Trisha for dates, strike with their comical performance.
Shooting in a star cruiser and a majority of film in a foreign land has been made possible by Udhaynidhi Stalin. Having made a name for himself producing and distributing quality fare, he ensures 'Manmadhan Ambu' tops the list.
If the first half settles down to a pace, the second half takes off in a bigger way sustaining the momentum all through.
Three cheers to Kamal Haasan, a man who has entertained us for over 50 years, for continuing his job with same energy, enthusiasm and vigour. 'Manmadhan Ambu' may not be a 'Panchathanthiram' or 'Dasavatharam', but a perfect holiday entertainer with Kamal stamp all over it.