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Movie Review: Manjhi – The Mountain Man


Bhagwaan ke bharose mat baithiye, ka pata bhagwaan hamre bharose baitha ho” (don’t depend on god to fulfil your needs, who knows god might be depending on us), says Manjhi when asked about how he feels after single-handedly making a way through the mountain, using just a hammer and chisel. This and several other gripping dialogues and sub-plots in the film make for a riveting story that never ceases to amazeyou. Even when the film is just a biopic about a man and his lifelong mission to make a passage through a mountain, there are plenty of twists and turns to keep you fixated on the screen.

There’s the thing about love;sensual youthful indulgences,portrayed most effectively by Radhika Apte in her characterization as ‘Phaguniya’, the local village girl; the bucolic lifestyle and unmindful chatterof village folks; the pervasive caste system and the monsters it creates in the community; the naxalites and their belief in bullets; the corrupt police, bureaucratic and political system; and of course, one man’s resolve to make a difference against all odds – the movie  has plenty to offer in terms of an engaging storyline.

Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s portrayal of Manjhi deserves to be appreciated, as he manages to get under the skin of the character, making it appear as real as possible. The cinematography and direction is also good, as the film aptly captures the myriad hues and shades of rural life.The script is full of wit and humor, which ensures that the story never gets too heavy for the audience’s sensibilities. Certainly, a must watch for everyone.

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