Directed by Seenu Ramasamy, Maamanithan, the new Vijay Sethupathi film is a movie that struggles to portray the struggles of a commoner. The movie wants to explore only the emotional side of the story, and hence the viewer is forced to watch a drama full of cliches. The intention is to present the eventful journey of a man, but the waywardness of the script makes it a drama with no depth.
Radha Krishnan is an auto driver in a small town. He has a wife and two kids. His mother passed away a few years back, and nobody is there for him as a relative. At one point, his wish to make his kids study in a better school convinces him to enter the real estate business. He decided to take a share of a land deal happening in his village. Everyone gave the advance amount for the property trusting Radha Krishnan. But after getting all the money, the property owner leaves without informing anyone. A clueless Radha Krishnan also had to leave the village. His efforts to find the owner of the property and get that money back for his village people is what we see in Maamanithan.
The lecturing tone of the movie lets you down immediately into the film. We have our hero giving motivational classes to his kids. Then we have a flashback bit where we see the righteous hero helping a father and daughter who eventually became his father-in-law and wife. Even in the second half, when we see Radha Krishnan struggling, the emphasis is always on projecting him as this protective figure. There is nothing wrong with showing your hero as a good human being. But the presentation here lacks nuances, and the preachy emotional tone makes the movie duller.
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For Vijay Sethupathi, the character of Radha Krishnan is a cakewalk. We have seen him do similar roles in the past, and with his inherent likability, he makes the character extremely humane. Gayathrie, as the wife, was okay. Guru Somasundaram doesn’t have much to do in his role as that stereotypical goodness package Bhai. Seeing KPAC Lalitha on the big screen as a caring mother was so lovely. Jewel Mary and Manikandan Achari did their part neatly. Anikha and Manasvi Kottachi are also there in the star cast.
Seenu Ramasamy prefers a template village drama for this story. He has made the movie in a way that it feels like a spoon-fed bedtime story. The narrative’s trajectory was so vast that it had the scope to be an impactful character exploration. But the scripting prefers a broad stroke nature where they cover bullet points in an unnuanced way. The only thing that worked for me in this movie was the representation of Kerala and the decision to make Keralites speak normal Malayalam in their scenes. It really felt nice and somewhere blurred the language barriers.
Maamanithan is that loud and preachy B and C center targeted family drama that uses all the tried and tested ingredients to create a melodramatic story. The emotional graph they have placed in the narrative is so flat that the movie depends excessively on the charm of Vijay Sethupathi to move the viewer.
The emotional graph they have placed in the narrative is so flat that the movie depends excessively on the charm of Vijay Sethupathi to move the viewer.
Green: Recommended Content
Orange: The In-Between Ones
Red: Not Recommended