First things first - I'm not an Ajith fan, However, I'm one of those who were caught in the Mankatha frenzy this year after watching the high-octane trailer, so I caught the movie on 1st Day 1st Show here in Malaysia on 30th Aug. Here's my review in terms of Pluses & Minuses of the movie:
1. Marketing - First of all, the movie had a splendid trailer which not many movies managed to create - a trailer which managed to increase the movie's expectations up many notches. Added with Sun Pictures' strong marketing arm, no doubt this movie will create waves among the public and fans alike.
2. Ajith - He has a terrific screen presence, and even in the 1st half where the screenplay lags big time, it is his screen presence and acting that keeps people glued to the screen. More importantly, his decision to choose a multistarrer as his 50th movie, and a NEGATIVE ROLE in that, increased the curiosity factor for the movie.
3. Multistarrer - This is a true multistarrer where all the main characters were given important screen time and dignity. The best example is Arjun, who is given ample action scenes & importance although the movie has always been marketed as Ajith's 50th movie. In fact, I think Arjun's intro fight scene was more awesome than Ajith's. Both of them should be praised for choosing this multistarrer and even addressing each other as "Action King" and "Thala" in the movie.
4. Background music - The BGM was good supports to keep the momentum of the movie going.
5. Climax & anti-climax - It was an unexpected climax finish, what more for a star of Ajith's standing. And just when you thought that the movie was over, comes the shocking anti-climax. This was a bold move by Venkat Prabu.
6. End credits bloopers - These show the fun that the cast & crew team had while shooting the movie. In fact, this portion was even more interesting than some scenes in the 1st half.
1. Screenplay - The biggest villain of the movie is actually the screenplay. The 1st half is especially draggy with many songs & unnecessary scenes, including long-drawn gunfights which could have been trimmed down. I believe that Venkat should immediately trim the movie by cutting at last 10 minutes of the movie to make the screenplay crispier & racier, and release the trimmed version soon. My suggestion - cut 1 or 2 songs, especially "Ithu engal balleilakka" & trim down some of the action scenes.
2. Songs - Although some songs were good (Vilayadu Mankatha, Nee Naan, Machi Open the Bottle), the rest of the songs were just average, and worst still, they play as speed breakers to the screenplay. In Vaada Bin Laada, the composition is mediocre, and although the background CG was good, they distract us from watching Ajith & Trisha as we are attracted to watch the CG instead.