Manjhi - The Mountain Man is a film, based on the life of Dashrath Manjhi. Manjhi, widely known as the "Mountain Man", was a poor labourer in Gehlaur village, near Gaya in Bihar, India, who carved a path through a mountain using only a hammer and chisel.Wikipedia
Manjhi: The Mountain Man Reviews
Nawazuddin Siddiqui strains every sinew, and remains consistently watchable despite the shifts in tone. But even he cannot make the film soar.
Ketan aspires to find poetry in Manjhi’s grand passion. He doesn’t always succeed. But this story is so compelling that it will inspire you to face your own mountains.
It's not that the film is without jarring points. Most of the character artists goof up with the accent while mouthing the dialogues in the dialect spoken in the region. In fact, except Siddiqui, Dhulia, Apte and Pankaj Tripathi, everyone seems to have put on a fake and forced 'Bihari' accent. The very Bollywood-ised romance between Siddiqui and Apte seems out of place as well. At best, this should have been part of dream sequences. Given the realism of the story, the flying sarees and Apte roaming around without blouses do not quite fit into the cultural milieu.
Siddiqui is an amazing actor. And he’s in his element as the slightly crazed lover-husband. And though Siddiqui wears the burden of Manjhi Mountain Man lightly, as the stubborn, moody, dogged man who cut his way through a mountain over 22 years, he’s just competent. The film has a strong story, but it lacks soul. Like Mehta’s earlier attempts, this too is a mediocre attempt at telling an important story.
The film is definitely a worth a watch as this is a story that deserves to be heard. But allow us to tell you that while some of you might be carrying a leaked version of the film in your phones, the tale of the mountain man is not meant for touchscreen entertainment.
Manjhi is watchable purely because of this actor’s grasp of a willful, persevering personality recognised by his passion not poverty. It’s a distinction Nawaz duly delivers, if not the film.
Manjhi - The Mountain Man pays a price for exactly the opposite - it errs on the side of excess. Its makers go overboard with the sturdy but rather stolid pieces available to them. A lighter touch might have made Manjhi - The Mountain Man a markedly more convincing biopic.
Why this film that had so much potential doesn't deserve superlatives is because of the inconsistency in the story-telling. While some scenes leave you scarred and teary-eyed, others don't even scratch the surface.
Even an actor as accomplished as Nawazuddin Siddiqui seems to have given in to the shrill tone of the film, turning in what is perhaps his weakest performance so far in what should have been a meaty role. Stilted by the choppy screenplay, he is unable to bring Manjhi and his obsession to life. Radhika Apte, who plays Manjhi’s wife Phaguniya, looks luminous but has little else to do.
Not quite 'Shandaar, Zabardast, Zindabad' as one would expect it to be. It makes you proud that such Indian lived among us and makes a compelling case against Indian politicians and the bureaucracy. But beyond that, it's simply a love story - a man tearing through a mountain to keep the memory of his wife alive.
...deserves a watch to realise what a single 'lunatic' can be capable of when push comes to shove. And Nawazuddin's spellbinding acting. And, of course, if you're wondering if watching Manjhi would be difficult, here's quoting Dashrath from the film, "Pahar todne se mushkil hai kya (Is it tougher than breaking a mountain)?"
Manjhi tries to be many things - a biopic, a social drama, a love story, a superhero flick with bad special effects - and fails to be good at being either of them.
...is a true story that has been portrayed on celluloid with such brilliance that you would not want to miss it. Watch it for Nawaz’s outstanding performance and to truly acknowledge and learn about the true legend Dashrath Manjhi.
...is a good film but will appeal mainly to Nawazuddin's fans. However, the film has potential to grow with word of mouth.
The main takeaway from Manjhi – The Mountain Man is that great stories don’t necessarily make great films. Or not even good films for that matter. In this case, it is the astounding true story and Nawazuddin Siddique’s acting that elevates a worn out film and makes it look average.
Manjhi’s story brings to light an amazing and shocking reflection of Indian society and politics. A man spent 22 years trying to dig through a mountain for a basic civic convenience. The government and the authorities did absolutely naught to aid his efforts. Yes, 30 years ago the media and the public weren’t as vocal as today, but things in the interiors of our country still need to be ironed out, just Manjhi’s saga. And yet, such a pertinent and relevant subject is doled out in an unconvincing manner. The Mountain man and his legend deserved a lot more.
Audience Reviews for Manjhi: The Mountain Man
Good That Ketan Made Movie On Manjhi.And Nawazuddin Hv Done A Very Good Job Here.But Ketan's Direction Is Avg To Poor Only.The Film Becomes Boring And Forced At Times.It Relies Too Much On Nawaz.Screenplay Hv Flaws Too.Watch It For Nawaz & To Know The Story Of Manjhi
Let's put the other issues aside. Acting is TAMAM. Good story containing a good messege. Will power, depiction of the time are simply fine. Don't know why the critics giving minimum points! 8 for Siddique.
Until now Mirch Masala (1985) was what Ketan Mehta was known for. His foray into biographies didn't go well in the last decade of the previous century, but his latest attempt is really a shot in right direction.
The non-linear screenplay introduces its audience to a rural village in the interiors of the Indian state of Bihar, which is partially run by a fascist authority in the 1950s-60s. A young boy named Dashrath Manjhi, born to poor farmer parents, is married off to a girl when boys his age would instead fancy playing tag, and is soon after sent away closer to the cities so that he is not exposed to the government's cruel ways. Fast forward a decade and a half - an adult Manjhi (Siddiqui) returns to his village, meets his wife Phaguniya (Apte), and starts a cheerful married life. He realizes that their happy days are over when his wife slips and falls off a huge hillock which eventually results in her death. Manjhi, a high-willed, idiosyncratic lover boy that he is, vows to avenge her death by locking horns with the hill; and his idea of revenge: tearing the mountain apart.
The non-linearity plays out like a documentary without a good prologue, which compels a viewer to ask too many questions, at least in the first act. However, considering that one is unknown to the story which is true to some extent, once you get a fair idea as to what is happening, the middle act and conclusion is very fine. Chronicling the two strenuous decades that the mountain man spent breaking the peak with just the help of a chisel and a hammer is not what the film is all about. There is politics and history, and the way the former is showcased can polarize the opinions. I say documentary-like because a journalist character in the film kind of poorly narrates Manjhi's struggle in terms of years, making it look like a chronology test of a 10-year old.
The humor is very light, and is strictly delivered by Siddiqui. His performance is top-notch and I can even risk saying that he is second to none when it comes to portraying a character like Manjhi, who was known for his madness and extraordinary determination. Although he is the star of the film in its most basic sense, I personally think that his characterization was type-cast as if making him do certain things is a norm now. Talking about Miss Elegance, I have grown fond of Apte over the years. Be it her bombed Malayalam language film Haram (2015) or her viral short film Ahalya (2015), her performance is something that you cannot term as acting; she lives her character.
The biggest problem I had with the script was that I didn't know what went on Manjhi's mind before, during, and after he took on the impossible job. There is no insight into his strategy, if there was any, or at least the basic intention or the layout. This made it feel like we are watching a soap opera that is high on background noise, but low on substance. Still, there is a point towards the end where Manjhi realizes how his material nemesis was both cruel and kind enough to first kill his wife, and then let him break it apart, respectively; and that is the gist of the story. Nevertheless, the make-up, costumes, dialogs, and production design are brilliant.
Lots of sub-stories were unnecessarily inserted into the period drama, which could have been a lot more solid had the makers focused solely on the feat. With Siddiqui at the helm, Mr. Mehta relies on cast performance and a legend story to steer a vehicle that has boxes in place of tires.
BOTTOM LINE: Manjhi - The Mountain Man is no doubt a hard-worked depiction of an incredible story of a man who broke a mountain to prove his love, only that when you compare it with a similar but famous story of the Taj Mahal, you will still go with the latter. That is the powerlessness of the film.
GRADE: B- VERDICT: One-time must watch.
Can be watched with a typical Indian family? YES
Every expression of this guy coming from a small village makes you feel that he has been to that situation from ages, what else you expect out of an perfect actor. Story no doubt is one of inspiring of all time, but driving that also needs an art which Ketan Mehta has done brilliantly. Radhika is charming in her role. Must watch for all in theaters if you want to keep good cinema alive and wish to see good message films instead brain ghar pe rakh ke jao crap movies. Kudos to Nawaz and team once again!