Ways of warriors
Helmed by M Padmakumar, ‘Mamangam’ was one of the most anticipated Malayalam movies of the year. With Mammootty essaying the bravest warrior, the film’s Tamil version has dialogues penned by Ram, who had recently worked with the ‘mega star’ in ‘Peranbu’.
‘Mamangam’, marketed as the costliest Malayalam film till date, recreates the 16-17 century, when the Mamankam festival took place. The period drama also shows some real action from Unni Mukundan and Achuthan, who played the pivotal characters.
Set in the 17th century, the story is about the chavers, or suicide squad warriors, who were determined to challenge the Zamorin who’d caused dishonour to their land, Valluvanad.
The film, as the name suggests, tells the story of Mamangam festival, an annual event where the Zamorin ruler challenges other regional kingdoms to oppose his authority.
Only the suicidal warriors from Valluvanad region dare to oppose or try to overthrow Zamorin rule every year at the fest.
It is considered an insult to the warrior clan if any of them tries to escape from the battlefield rather than die as a martyr.
The movie’s positive points are the flashback portions after the death of the foreign merchant. Mamangam delves deep into the life of Panicker, who is in the disguise of an effeminate person. Padmakumar’s prowess comes in handy while handling these portions.
Mammootty here plays Chandroth Valiya Panicker whose community is embroiled in a long-running blood feud with the ruling Saamoothiris aka Zamorins. He does complete justice to his role.
‘Mamangam’ shows glimpses of quality which one would expect from a screenplay which was well-researched and written by Pillai, but, mostly, the movie fails to live up to viewers expectations as it is let down by the screenplay and direction.