IBTimes India Rating: 2.5
What can possibly go wrong with a movie inspired by a man who carved mountains for the love of his life? One would say 'nothing', but the makers blew the finer feelings out of proportion giving the audience an unnecessarily overwhelming experience.
Nawazuddin Siddiqui's portrayal of Dashrath Manjhi is flawless but that's not enough make a film soar.
What makes this Ketan Mehta directorial a nearly-there fare is its tendency to go overboard with the deep-seated emotion the 'true story' already comes with.
The story opens in the rustic alleys of Wazir Ganj in which Dashrath is married to child-bride Phagunia (Radhika Apte). After braving extreme poverty and being unbearably tortured by the landlord (Tigmanshu Dhulia) of the area, the protagonist escapes his abode only to return seven years later.
Amid all the difficulties, he still manages time for his now grown-up bride but the happiness is cut short by an unfortunate event which turns his world upside down, giving him the strength to do the unthinkable.
Carving out a path on a rocky mountain with a set of humble tools not only sounds difficult but also impossible. But Dashrath embarks on the laborious journey.
The story sure is inspirational but the execution of it may leave one wilted. The drama at times overpowers the simplicity of the film's lead character.
Nawazuddin is at his best and supports the narrative with his one scowl, one glare. Radhika doesn't have much to offer but puts up a great show with her portrayal of Phagunia. The child-like innocence she brings to the table is phenomenal.
Ketan does well with this one, but the focus should have been more on how to highlight the simpler issues of life. Even then, one could spot sparks of brilliance in the way he treats the delicate subject of the story.
In a nutshell, "Manjhi" has been carved with love but doesn't shape too well.