It took a poor man 22 years and the love for his dead wife to cut through a mountain to shorten the distance between Atri and Wazirganj of Gaya town from 55 km to 15 km. One does get dazzled at first when he hears such a story and so all the more reason that Manjhi will impress you beyond imagination.
Real life stories have become a common subject for Bollywood directors, and Manjhi is another addition to the family. Set in the 1950’s Manjhi describes the Zamindar rule in the villages in those early years. The story revolves around the life of Dashrath Manjhi (Nawazuddin Sidiqqui) and his struggle to carve a road through the mountain.
Coming to the technical specs of the movie, no great offerings on the visual effects or music end. Manjhi is all about its powerful story and its characters. Ketan Mehta does pick up the best of the characters for the smallest of the roles and ensures that each one of them dwell into their respective characters. Manjhi features the likes of Tigmanshu Dhulia, the Zamindar of Gehlaur, Pankaj tripathi playing the Zamindar’s greedy son and Radhika Apte, Dashrath’s wife and the leading lady.
Like all rural sector based movies Manjhi tends to entertain its viewers with its witty Bhojpuri one liners, just like Gangs of Wasseypur and Pan Singh Tomar. It highlights the will of a common man who wants to build a spectacle like the Taj Mahal for his deceased wife. It is this commitment and love for his deceased wife that motivates Dashrath Manjhi, toil for 22 years to cut through a mountain, despite all the hardships that come his way.
After laudable cameos in Kick, Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Gangs of Wasseypur and Badlapur, Nawazuddin Sidiqqui has once again proved his mettle to the entire Indian film fraternity. The only point one can hold against this beautiful piece of cinema is that it seems to be a little stretched at times. Manjhi is the perfect recipe for success, with all ingredients carefully measured and added. So all as a critic I can say about Manjhi is Shandaar Zabardast Zindabad.
My Rating: 4.0/5