Mamangam: Epic episode
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 directed by M Padmakumar focuses on the life and fate of suicidal warriors from Valluvanad who mostly die fighting against the mighty army of Zamorin, and is left only with their story of glory and bravery.
The film features Malayalam megastar Mammootty as a legendary warrior from Kerala who turns his back on violence when he becomes convinced of its pointlessness.
The Tamil version carries dialogues by Ram, who directed Mammootty’s Peranbu. They are good and certain dialogues fit to the present context too.
Thematic relevance, courage and sensitivity are not enough to hold up an entire film though when the writing is shallow and the storytelling style dull. These twin problem areas combined with action scenes and visual effects that are a mixed bag end up pulling down Mamangam.
Mammootty, who plays the role of an ultimate warrior, lives his role. His dialogue, especially during the climax in this set-in-17th-century film, is relevant in the current day too.