A few years back when Prithviraj was asked about his choice of films (during that Ayalum Njanum Thammil phase) he said he feels like a much-evolved person now and he may not do a film like Pokkiri Raja.  Whether a movie like Madhuraraja would work for you or not depends on two factors.  One, if you are still a fan of Pokkiri Raja and two if you consider Pulimurugan as a phenomenal film. As both those criterions were negative for me, I just couldn’t consider Madhuraraja as a memorable film.

After the events of the first film, the movie now shifts to a place set in the backwaters where Raja’s father Madhavan mash is going for an enquiry about the problems caused by a local bar to the nearby school.  Things didn’t go that smoothly for Madhavan mash and he eventually had to call Raja for help.  The entry of Raja to the scene and what happens after that is what Madhuraraja all about.

This review could well be interpreted as the opinion of someone who doesn’t like over the top characters and so-called Masala films. Well, let me just try to clarify that if filmmakers can at least try to reinvent the so-called mass masala, it will work for the majority.  What Madhuraraja lacks is the presence of a fresh or engaging script.  When the first half of the movie ends you can pretty much find the similarity with Pokkiri Raja. The only creative alteration is the swapping of Prithviraj with Jai.  And the second half is largely a work that they took from the writer-director duo’s last hit Pulimurugan.  Raja’s love for bad English is explored in a bad way that it almost reminded me how Lal ruined Appukkuttan when he came back with Harihar Nagar team.

Mammootty has the swagger to pull off this character and even when the script ruins a lot of the fun by overdoing stuff; he manages to stay close to the likable eccentricity.  Jai is largely a mere spectator who fills in the shoes of a dancer and a fighter when required.  Anusree is the powerful woman of Udayakrishna’s world and pretty much a replica of what Kamilinee Mukherji did in Pulimurugan. Nedumudi Venu and Vijayaraghavan reprised their roles neatly.  The major relief was Salim Kumar here and if I say Manoharan Mangalodayam was a major relief, you could sense the scarcity in the content.  Jagapati Babu is Daddy Girija without the muffler.

I won’t say Vysakh has made the film in a poor way.  There is a limit to giving freshness to a film when the script is so loud, has no regards for nuances and is almost an assembled version of the numerous movies we have seen a decade ago.  Using heavy slow-motion shots and visual effects aided fight sequences; he has made a film that can probably provide a stunning trailer.  But when you have wafer thin script to back all the visual grandeur you are trying to create, the charm gets lost.  By the time the film reached the climax fight the movie almost reached that excruciating phase and to make it even scary, there was an announcement at the end. Peter Hein is becoming repetitive with his stunt choreography ideas and the Thalaiva background score was giving a tough competition to Ulakka Chakka Chakka.

Vysakh is trying to make Raja a franchise.  But with no signs of reinvention, I am clueless how it will shape up in front of an evolved audience.  The justification for making a Madhuraraja was that if Avengers can be made in Hollywood, why not Raja.  Well, in my opinion, the comparison should have been made with Transformers.

Rating:  2/5

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Final Thoughts

The justification for making a Madhuraraja was that if Avengers can be made in Hollywood, why not Raja. Well, in my opinion, the comparison should have been made with Transformers.


Green: Recommended Content

Orange: The In-Between Ones

Red: Not Recommended


By Aswin Bharadwaj

Founder and editor of Lensmen Reviews.