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Mouna Guru Movie Online Review

  Mouna Guru Genre: Crime Thriller Cast: Arulnidhi, John Vijay, Uma Riaz Khan, Iniya Storyl...

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Mouna Guru
Genre: Crime Thriller
Cast: Arulnidhi, John Vijay, Uma Riaz Khan, Iniya
Storyline: A misunderstood college youth becomes unwittingly involved in a crime plot that spirals his life out of order. 
Rating:★★★½☆

Mouna Guru: Go Watch it now

There are movies that start out very ordinary, with characters you've seen a dozen times over, and then change track so swiftly and in such pleasant fashion that you're sucked into a very fulfilling watching experience.

Mounaguru, directed by debutant director Shantakumar is one such. It has everything that might count as a cliche but the marvel of it is that it never descends into mediocrity or becomes predictable.

The movie starts in almost near-darkness inside a swaying police vehicle, with two men sitting morosely in the front. In the back is a man who sobs audibly. And then there's another who stares silently at his hand-cuffs glinting in the meagre light.

Cut to a few months in the past: in Madurai lives Karunakaran (Arulnidhi), a serious young man who seemingly cares about nothing but his studies. He's careful never to involve himself in anything untoward. That he possesses a kind heart is obvious--asked to scare away snakes, he picks one up and gently lets the reptile free in the hills.

But fate is less than gentle with him. He tries to call his brother from a public telephone, but the call doesn't go through, and he can't get his Rs 2 back either. The booth owner refuses to reimburse him, and when Karunakaran smacks the phone-box in passing, it bursts open and coins spill out by the hundreds. "I'll just take my two rupees," he says, but the phone-booth owner thinks he did it on purpose to swindle him.

This is typical of how a web of deceit is spun around Karunakaran throughout the film. A thoughtful man who is engrossed in his studies, he finds himself at the wrong place, wrong time, at every single moment. Every situation that requires him to participate, snowballs into something monstrous. He's one man against a system, and there's no way out.

Karunakaran arrives in Chennai to continue his studies, but his brother's wife makes it clear he's not wanted. Karunakaran resents this and would like to stay away, but then there's Aarthi (Iniya), his sister-in-law's sister, a medical student who is the only one who is sympathetic to him.

Meantime, isolated incidents happen. There's police officer Marimuthu (John David) who, with his men, is caught in a situation that swiftly escalates beyond their control. On the other end of the spectrum is Inspector Palaniammal (Uma Riaz Khan), pregnant, and transferred from Madurai to Chennai. She is soon embroiled in an investigation that throws up more questions than answers.

As an actor, Arulnidhi has grown; he's much more confident in front of the camera. His character is angry, confused, upset and furious by turns--but at the bottom of it all, he's a real person, not a superhero who magically solves everything with his fists.

Iniya's role is tiny, but she does justice to it. John David as the vicious Inspector is at his flamboyant best and brings plenty of applause.

But it's Uma Riaz Khan who really walks away with the honours. She goes at her job like a battering-ram, never pausing to be afraid or nervous for a minute. Tamil cinema very rarely offers strong roles to women and this one, which has an intelligent inspector at the helm, is excellently done.

Every supporting character, from the college principal to John David's cohorts and the random mentally ill patient, has performed well. It's hard to believe that this is a film, so natural is their body language.

Thaman's music is low key; the songs are limited, thankfully, and don't mar the pace. Mahesh Muthusamy's camera-work offers a sense of intimacy, and takes the tension to a higher level, a job very well done.

But it's clearly director Shantakumar who holds the reins firmly in his hands. His screenplay never falters, even if the pacing does seem jerky in places. There are no masala side-tracks or jarring concessions to commercial tastes to mar the proceedings; the climax comes with an unexpected twist as well.

Time plays an important role in crime thrillers. The sequence right before the intermission in Mouna Guru is an example — the protagonist Karunakaran (Arulnidhi) is one of three youngsters lined up by a group of corrupt policemen to be killed in a fake encounter in the reserve forests on the Andhra Pradesh-Tamil Nadu border. What goes wrong over the next few minutes is shown in excruciating detail. No jump cuts. No fast editing. Time stays true to character.

The long-drawn sequence is one of the many small victories the movie scores in retaining audience interest even while keeping away from ‘formula' — there are not many unwarranted songs or unconnected comic sequences.

Review 2
Mouna Guru, produced by Mohana Arts and featuring young actor Arulnidhi, is a crime thriller backed by superb performances from all the lead actors. First-time director Shantakumar surprises the audience with twists and turns in a story and screenplay that appear realistic for the most part. The climax is truly a surprise. The intensity is maintained — even the faults can be overlooked for the entirety of the experience the film provides.

The technicians — be it cinematographer Mahesh Muthuswami, editor Raja Muhammed, art director A. A. Devaraj and music director S. Thaman — have all worked as per the dictates of the genre. 

Karunakaran is a forthright college-going youth in Madurai, who is unable to control his anger as is required by the society he lives in. A misfit in his surroundings, he is often misunderstood by all. Unable to come to terms with the grey areas of the world, he constantly finds himself struggling between right and wrong. His mother is constantly worried and his brother is protective yet does not understand fully his behaviour.

The story moves from Madurai to Chennai, after Karunakaran is forced to leave college. Thrust into a vitiated environment in a city college, where egos and politics rule, Karunakaran is unwittingly drawn into a crime plot involving four policemen — Assistant Commissioner Marimuthu (John Vijay), Inspector Rajendran (Madhu), Sub-Inspector Selvam (Balakrishnan) and cop Perumalsamy (Krishnamurthy). The four try to appropriate a huge stash of cash from a road accident.

But one lie leads to another, and as the body counts mount, Karunakaran is drawn right into the epicentre of a crime plot gone awry. Even as the four policemen scheme and cover their tracks, a sincere police officer Palaniammal (Uma Riaz Khan) unravels the plot and becomes the only person who is aware of Karunakaran's innocence.

The story and screenplay are taut, the dialogues well-written, particularly Karunakaran's outburst after being labelled mentally unstable and sent to the government hospital by the policemen.

Arulnidhi plays with aplomb the role of the angry young man pushed to a corner by circumstances. John Vijay, Madhu, Balakrishnan and Krishnamurthy are outstanding as the corrupt policemen who set into motion a series of events they themselves are unable to control. The credit should go to Shantakumar for etching their characters beautifully, without reducing them to caricatures. The vulnerabilities of the characters come to the fore when they realise their game is up and everyone from the Police Commissioner gets to know of their schemes following Palaniammal's investigation. Uma Riaz Khan impresses — one can't help wonder why the actor does not feature more regularly in Tamil cinema. Iniya plays Karunakaran's love interest as the sister of his elder brother's wife. But the romance is lost in a script that focusses on crime. Murugadoss (who was seen in Aadukalam as Dhanush's friend) does a wonderful cameo as a mentally-challenged person aiding Karunakaran in his retribution.

Mouna Guru is one of the small gems of Tamil cinema this year. It marks a promising debut for Shantakumar and advances Arulnidhi's career. Worth checking out if you like crime thrillers. A word of warning though. Some sequences may be inappropriate for children.

Mouna Guru Online Movie Review
Reviewed by The Cinema News on Dec 17.
Mouna Guru Online Movie Review, Rating
Mouna Guru - Worth watching this suspense crime thriller.
Rating: 3.5

Post a Comment Default Comments Disqus Comments

  1. awesome movie!!!!!!! one the few subtle movies in a trash of commercial potboilers. this movie has the best storyline which is very rare from tamil movies the critic here has made a mistake he musn't have let out the plot as the plot is suspense but an amazing movie can't believe director is a debutant.

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