Ok Bangaram | Movie Review


Mani Ratnam is one of the best directors of our time. But for the last 11 years, none of his movies, starting from Yuva, have made an impression. With Kadali, I thought he lost his touch. Thankfully not!

Ok Bangaram is a simple love story – no drama, just pure romance. The script is nothing special; boy meets girl, they fall in love, neither wants to get married, live in together, and voila! One can predict the ending just by watching the trailer of the movie, but it’s Mani Ratnam’s pure genius that keeps you engrossed for the two odd hours. The chemistry between the lead pair is magical. The way he showcased the elderly couple’s storyline is subtle yet brilliant. The screenplay never overwhelms you; it’s just a love story narrated in a beautiful way.

Dulquer Salmaan is excellent in the lead role. He has a guy next door charm, and puts up a great performance. The best part is that he never tried too hard, it seemed like he was just being himself. Nani’s voice suited him perfectly. Nitya Menen is absolutely gorgeous. I can’t imagine anyone else who could have put up a better act than her. Her expressions, smile, overall performance – splendid! Prakash Raj is perfect as the house owner, and Leela Samson is great as his wife. The rest of the cast is decent.

Mani Ratnam definitely brings out the best in A. R. Rahman. Music is soulful and excellent, and all songs are brilliantly picturized. The background score and mixing are equally good. Editing by Sreekar Prasad is neat, while cinematography by P. C. Sreeram is superb. On production front, the movie is flawless (Dil Raju and team).

Is it worth your time and money?: Absolutely. I thoroughly enjoyed the movie and have a gut feel that you will too, but only if you don’t compare it to anything else. Mani Ratnam is back (maybe not at his best, but back) to showcase a beautiful yet simple love story. Just go enjoy!

Worth mention: The chemistry between Dulquer and Nitya.

Acting: 9.5/10
Story-Screenplay-Direction: 8.5/10
Technical Aspects: 9/10

Verdict: 8.5/10

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I am Sasikanth Paturi, a big time foodie and movie freak, and a pretty good critique.

8 thoughts on “Ok Bangaram | Movie Review”

  1. I or majority of them will not agree with your first sentence of the review. Aayuda Ezhuthu/Yuva & Guru both were critically acclaimed movies & it really had all ingredients of what a Mani Ratnam normally has. Abhishek Bachhan would have delivered his career best acting in these movies.Its Raavan & Kadal which was worst films.

    1. I’d agree with you in saying that Yuva and Guru were decent stuff, but let’s be honest, they weren’t Mani Ratnam movies. Any other director probably could have churned out the same. I at least, expect more than that from him, and Ok Bangaram/Ok Kanmani delivered.

  2. I think Yuva/Aayuda Ezhuthu was one of the first Anthology movie to be made in India with superb screenplay, sharp dialogues. Its after this movie loads of anthology movies were churned out in all languages.I was not impressed much with Yuva star cast, but Tamil version was superb with brilliant performances of Bharathi Raja when compared that of Om Puri. Guru again was memorable biopic which I think only director like him can take the way it is. I felt Ok Kanmani was just an light hearted take on live-in relationship and its script was never serious or intense like his previous romantic flicks like Mouna raagam, Alaiypayuthey, Dil Se. Dialogues were not memorable; there was nothing much in terms of screenplay. IMHO ANY director can take Ok Kanmani the way it is already taken (if not for love scenes in train, bus etc. like in his previous movies, music and DOP apart) but NONE can take movies like Mouna Raagam , Alaiypayuthey again and I think even Mani Ratnam can’t take it any more. It would rate this movie as just good, not bad at the same time not very good.

    1. I agree that Ok Kanmani is not even close to Mouna Raagam, or even Geetanjali. There is absolutely no comparison; those were epics. 🙂

      Yuva, through screenplay was brilliant, wasn’t a great film for me. And no, I don’t think any other director could have made Ok Kanmani the way it is.

  3. I watched a movie after 3 years in a theatre.

    This is a Mani Ratnam cliché all the way from the ever present fleeting trains to the imminent montage leading up to the love making. And yes, the irritating, inescapable Tamil Accent of the cast. AR Rahman as usual delivers his signature forgettable score that will not last beyond the pop corn that you will buy during the middle of the first half.

    The lead pair is charming if not looking over awed by the expectation from a Mani Ratnam movie. The setting is Mumbai that is necessary as a back drop to reflect their free spirited nature and also allow for the falsely serious nature of the storyline. Mani Ratnam just cannot be bold in his home setting. Perhaps it’s the “heat” he wishes to escape. He’s a video game developer and she’s an architect to lend a sense of uncommon professions, untrodden careers and background as if to perpetuate their rebellious minds. So they cross tracks at a railway station (give me a break) and end up living together as paying guests at a retired couple’s house. The elderly lady is battling the onset of Alzheimer’s and her husband, Prakash Raj, wasted yet brilliantly subdued and natural, is always by her side to provide the striking and not so subtle contrast to the lead pair’s non conformist and non committal relationship unbound by social obligations. So they meet, get attracted to, fall in love, live in and boringly discover longing and pangs of separation and eventually and predictably the narration meanders to a end that one has seen a million times before.

    For a country that is overwhelmingly under 30 years of age the story holds a mirror to the changing times and nothing more. It’s a reflection that does not evoke even a half raised eyebrow in an increasingly tolerant and west-embracing urban milieu. It might spark an indifferent conversation elsewhere and that’s it. As I write this on my iPhone in the theatre in between also feeding pop corn to my daughter, I wonder why I picked this movie to go with my wife a full three years after my last one. May be I watch a lot of American TV and perhaps Mani Ratnam cannot create the shock value of the pre-social media era today, this story neither amuses me nor the close up cinematography catches attention as bare minimum expectation from a Ratnam movie used to. What it is, is a par movie from Mani Ratnam for the times we live in and it is pretty ordinary all the way. Am being generous after squandering 500 bucks. You won’t miss much if you give it a miss. For redemption, it did make me angry enough to write about a movie as I have always been wanting to for a long time now. Any movie. This one sadly just does not deserve a review.

    1. I see a lot of anguish in your review. Chill macha, it’s just a movie!

      You seemed to have missed a lot in the last 3 years for the movie scene has changed quite drastically, and this movie actually happens to bring a breath of fresh air amidst the pollution. And ya, as you said, for a country that is overwhelmingly under 30 years of age, this is the something worthwhile. And my guess is that you’re not one among them. 🙂

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