Manjhi The Mountain Man

It is a trend these days to appreciate "non commercial" films to seem smart. What will be your intellect level otherwise? Nothing else can explain why critics have unanimously given this movie a good rating and it is running to packed houses. Hell, even we felt guilty about walking out mid way instead of acting like we give a damn. 

Manjhi is based on true story. Dashrath Manjhi, played by Nawazuddin Siddiqui, breaks a mountain for 20 years to make a small path so that his villagers can access the next village easily. He does this when his wife Phaguniya Devi, played by Radhika Apte, falls down a mountain and dies. 

This is a brilliant story and could have been directed in so many ways and Ketan Mehta, the director, decides to make it a love story. Fair enough. Except what is there in the story except that Manjhi broke the mountain for 20 years. What are you going to show the audience for 2 hours? Ketan Mehta adds below elements to fill the time:

  • Caste ism
  • Poverty
  • Love story
  • Sex
  • Zamindari system
  • Famine
  • Etc etc etc
And this is only till the interval. 
As I sit and think about the flick, so many "practical" questions come to mind.
  • Why did Manjhi wait for his wife to die before he decided to start breaking the mountain? I am pretty sure other people died too
  • The mountain is protected by the law and not supposed to be broken. Even tigers and lions are dangerous, let us kill them all. 
  • Why were people living in a village that remote? Why couldn't they just move? 
  • If Manjhi loved his wife so much, why did he let her climb the dangerous mountain? Why didn't he move back the city where it was safer?
  • What did the poor mountain do to deserve this treatment?
  • I don't get it.... we want roads but we don't want the government to cut trees or mountains to build them. For once, when they don't cut up the mountain, we have a problem. Make up your mind, people.... development or environment? And no, both don't go hand in hand. Not yet, anyway
  • Manjhi was clearly mentally ill and needed treatment instead of accolades. 
I am not impressed, more like mind fucked. This is a boring, useless and badly made flick. Nawazuddin and Radhika Apte's love making scenes are as yucky as Ajay Devgan and Kareena's lip lock. Eww-worthy.


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