Mann – Straight From Heart

Mann is my personal favorite movie. Indra kumar has done good job with some out-n-out entertaining movies in 90’s Like Dil, Beta, Raja and Ishq. These movies loads with bone tickling comedy, good music and romance. But Mann is his first movie which is more on Emotional side, more from Heart with some ‘X’ factor in romance. Looking at his previous work,  Indra kumar film making always has fixed formulae “Chichori comedy + Romance + Emotions + Good music”. Mann also has all these integrants, But this time ratio is different, Weightage is given more on romantic and emotional angle of movie than comedy and all these emotions are straight from heart, one can easily connect. Mann is Indra kumar’s Honest attempt till date, This is his finest work which unfortunately fails at box-office at the time of its release, however what i believe is that later on this movie finds its place in lots of favorite list including me. 

The movie is an Indian adaptation of the Hollywood classic, An Affair To Remember, and the premise is simple.  Dev (Aamir Khan), a vagrant womanizer, refuses to settle down in life.  He has squandered all of his deceased parents’ riches and is set to complete one final romantic escapade aboard a cruise ship from Singapore to Bombay.  You see, the smart cookie that his assistant (Neeraj Vohra) is, Dev’s marriage has been arranged to the spolit daughter (Deepti Bhatnagar) of a wealthy tycoon.  Dev will compromise his waywardness for the moulah, but not before one last romp in the hay…  Or so he hopes.  Aboard the sailing vessel, Dev encounters Priya (Manisha Koirala), the first woman to ever light up his soul.  Priya may not initially be impressed, but there is a Divine force constantly pulling these opposing personalities together.  The couple finally gives in to their feelings for one another, but vow to only get together after six months, on Valentine’s Day at the Gateway of India, having overcome two crucial impediments in their path to love.  Dev has to prove he can stand on his own two feet and Priya has to deal with her impending marriage to the man who had helped her lead more than just an impoverished orphan’s life.

Wonderful thing about script and screenplay is that with every subsequent visit, you will more connect with emotional vibrant of content. The basic premise is very simple, and frankly, we have seen most of the first half in other movies.  The reason Mann works so well pre-intermission is because of the novelty (and proceedings) of the boat cruise setting and flawless performances by our lead actors.  Aamir and Manisha bring life to their characters, a rarity for films, and by the interval, you will know and care for Dev and Priya as much as for yourself.  If you already did not know, Aamir Khan is a near institution for Hindi cinema.  Form proof, just compare the actor’s multi-leveled portrayal of this playboy. Transformation of Aamir’s character from Brat to sincere and honest guy because of his love connect is just amazing, you can easily sense the emotional chemistry between Manisha and Aamir’s grandmother(Sharmila) at island, Aamir’s confession of his love to manisha and their further chemistry is pleasing and feel us like this something we are missing in romance from couple of decades. Final climax is just perfect and handled deftly by director, This is one of those rare climax which is powerful because of performance and handling, not because of content. if i need to chose 10 best climax in this decade, Mann would definitely be find its place. I wonder if scriptwriter has not been experienced all these deviations of emotional journey in his life, because these are straight from heart and exists in this practical world. 

Indra kumar deserves big applause for this first and last sensible product, i wonder if he dare not to do these type of movies ever again because of its commercial failure. Otherwise i always admire small touching and moving aspect of all his earlier movies. This time he make most of it. Indra Ji , we need this type of work from you, heartbroken to see you doing Dhamaal, Daddy Cool type of NonSense.Indra Kumar still needs to work on reducing the offensive and exaggerated caricatures he puts in his flicks.  It may be sinfully funny, but in film after film, Kumar makes jokes at the expense of dark-skinned, overweight and handicapped people.  The joke will sooner or later run thin, Mr Kumar.   You’re lucky this mistake is forgivable this time.  The upsides of Mann are just too overpowering for the flaws.

Music by debudent Sanjeev-Darshan(Son of Sharvan) was highlight of movie with touching songs like Chaha hai tuzhko, Khushiyan aur gham deti hai, Mera mann, Nasha ye pyaar ka are all wonderful songs. One of the film’s songs, Tinak Tin Tana, created controversy because the melody was taken from Malaysian singer Iwan’s song Yang Sedang-Sedang Saja. Iwan sued Sanjeev-Darshan, the film’s music director, for plagiarism and won the case.    

About performances, Mann is strong because of superb performances by Aamir and Manisha. It’s hard to imagine anyone else as perfect as they both are in their respective roles, The success of an actor lies in his/her ability to make you care about his/her character in spite of the character’s personality flaws.  Aamir has that ability. 

Then, if there is respite for Manisha’s innumerable fans of late, this flick is it.  We may not care about hits and flops, but it is painful to watch this acting virtuoso in the innumerable side roles she has been seen in of late.  Indra Kumar’s decision to cast Manisha here, is a case of perfect casting, and she never lets him or the audience down.  This lady is truly the Meena Kumari of her generation.  It is great fun watching Manisha and Aamir’s perfect chemistry opposite one another (after the vastly underrated Akele Hum Akele Tum).   The film’s climax has both stars permanently molding a spot for themselves in Bollywood history, and it will have you shedding tears by the bucketful.

Letting the audience delve into the psyche, emotions and feelings of a film’s characters is a rare and difficult feat, even for the world’s best directors.   Credit it to the original or adapted screenplay and dialogue, but Mann has got several poignant and unforgettable sequences.  From the visit to Dadimaa‘s home – even the white wig can’t hide the beauty that Sharmila Tagore always was – all the way to Dev’s final testament of true love, some scenes are bound to be etched in your mind for eternity.  And rightly so, Kumar has obviously put a lot of care into these sequences. 

One can forgive Indra Kumar‘s self indulgence in trying to retain as many sequences as possible in his first true labour of love.  Mann is Indra Kumar’s first movie, and hopefully not the last, for which he can be proud of himself.  (All the Rajas, Betas and Ishqs together cannot hold a candle to this one.)  All that modesty and self-criticism in your interviews can now be reduced Mr Kumar.  Indra Ji, show us another zabardast tale in another couple of years.  We are highly looking foward to it.

 Rating : 4.5/5

— BollyBusiness

~ by Yakuza on September 30, 2009.

14 Responses to “Mann – Straight From Heart”

  1. […] Read Full Review HERE […]

  2. Hey been following your blog through NG for some time…first comment, but you’re doing a great job! If it’s OK with you, i’ll be sharing some of your reviews etc on my blog too.

    I’m also a regular contributor at Satyamshot and Naachgaana (Akshay Shah).

    • Praz, you are most welcome here !! thanks for all these wonderful comments !! even i am fan of all your skilled writings !! i was following your blog and recently saw you at masterpraz, was wondering if both are same !! i cleared my doubt from NG !! Akshay even i do want to share your wonderful thoughts at my blog !! and it would be my pleasure if you share my blog!! I mean you can post your articles here too !! contact me at [check spelling carefully, there is one ‘l’]

  3. On MANN, I agree it’s Kumar’s best film! It’s one I have a great weakspot for. Not only was the music fantastic, but the performances were worthy and the drama was just at the right level without going in to melodrama!

  4. Indra kumar’s only commendable efforts … Straight from heart .. 100% agree ..

  5. Thansk for bringing this one … about climax, this was best ever seen … what a touching moment ..

  6. Mann is a scene by scene remake of a Cary Grant classic “Affair to Remember” so nothing “novel” about Mann.

    • But a treat to watch for those who have not seen “Affair to remember”

    • 90% of bollywood movies are lifted from foreign language flicks, some are straight lift, some are mixture of many, should we stop watching these flicks then ? silly gal ..

  7. Sakshi: Point, though this isnt a particularly bad remak by any means!

  8. Yes Yakuza, Take over NG, lol.

    Akshay Shah is already doing that.

  9. The arguement was about novelty which I proved that Mann wasn’t. I did not say stop watching the movie

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