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Man of the Match movie review: D Satya Prakash’s film may seem like hotchpotch, but pay attention, there’s more than meets the eye

Rama Rama Re and Ondalla Eradalla maker Sathya’s third film is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

3.5rating
  • Prathibha Joy

Last Updated: 06.45 AM, May 05, 2022

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Man of the Match movie review: D Satya Prakash’s film may seem like hotchpotch, but pay attention, there’s more than meets the eye
Nataraj and Dharmanna in a still from the film

Story: When actor-turned-director Nataraj schedules a bunch of auditions to select the star cast of his film, which is being produced by his friend and actor Dharmanna, little does anyone but the filmmaker know about his true intentions. In the guise of conducting auditions, he gets the bunch of aspiring actors to ‘perform’ certain sequences, which he’s stitching into a full-fledged film. The sequences he gives them to act, though, have severe consequences on their personal lives, which doesn’t bother him. Can Nataraj get away with this elaborate con on a bunch of gullible aspiring actors?

Review: Let’s cut to the chase at the outset. If you are planning to watch Man of the Match, which has dropped on Amazon Prime Video today, be aware that this is a film by the maker of movies like Rama Rama Re and Ondalla Eradalla, so it does not have any of the regular tropes of commercial cinema. What Sathya brings to the table is hard-hitting stuff presented in light-hearted and entertaining fashion so that it does not come across as preachy.

On the surface of it, Man of the Match is about a down-on-luck actor who has moved to filmmaking, and uses a bunch of aspiring actors to audition for roles. The twist is that unbeknownst to them, he has been giving them situations, which, put together, make a complete story, and he has been filming their every move for best effect. The entire film within a film plays out on one day, at one location and doesn’t really have a story. It’s like Bigg Boss, but without a script for the actors of Nataraj’s film, as he exploits their most basic instincts.

This film has Sathya telling his audiences a lot of stuff, including society’s lack of a moral compass, especially in matters relating to women, and the dangers of technology, whether it is a recording of a conversation or an image shot without your permission that can be construed a million ways or misused for someone’s personal benefit, whereby every moment our liberties are being impinged upon, among others. In a society where our first instinct in any situation is to whip out our cell phones and record it, a film like this is also a reminder of how depraved we can be. None of this is preachy though. You just have to pay attention and scratch a little below the surface to really understand what he's trying to say.

Verdict: Man of the Match is not the most entertaining film and may not even appeal to a lot of people; it’s like an acquired taste. You’ve got to set expectations aside and watch it for what it is. If you approach it with an open mind, chances are that you may find it funny in parts and thought-provoking in others. Give the filmmaker due credit for his gumption to attempt making something different. It’s difficult to say which way the scales will tip for this film, because Sathya is counting on discerning audiences to give their unwavering attention to his almost two-hour long film.

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