On the 1,275th day of March 2020, I watched Tamil time loop movie, Maanaadu. Released in 2021, the film follows Abdul Khaliq, as he visits Ooty for a wedding and finds himself reliving the same day, trying to save the life of Chief Minister Arivazhagan.
The first loop went on for over half an hour and I wondered whether I had the wrong film. There was a song-and-dance sequence, a car-chase, and some romance, but the plot seemed to be only moving forward. Then Khaliq died and he found himself back on the plane to Coimbatore, gasping in shock.
The film continued with Khaliq attempting to save the Chief Minister. He quickly works out how to quickly persuade his friends to help. In one iteration they discussed time-loop films including a Korean film that I’d not heard of. Halfway through the movie came a lovely twist, which was openly inspired by Tom Cruise time-loop Edge of Tomorrow.
While Maanaadu is entertaining, it has a political background, being based around a plot to cause religious riots with an assassination. Khaliq’s neighbour on the plane, Seethalakshmi, figures out how the time loop has happened. Khaliq is a muslim, but was born during some earlier riots, while his mother sheltered in Ujain’s Kaal-Bhairav temple, which celebrates a god linked with time travel. The gods of both religions are working through Khaliq to prevent the film’s villains from causing religious tensions.
I had a great time watching this film. I particularly enjoyed the making-of montage during the credits. It looks like a sequel is in the works, and I’m looking forward to that.
- Length of first iteration (in film): 32 minutes (by far the longest)
- Length of second iteration: 10 minutes
- Reset point: death
- Fidelity of loop: the day sets up the same way each time
- Exit from the loop: saving the day