Sethu’s scripts have always lacked solid conflicts that would make us root for the emotions or characters in his films. Be it the movies he had written or his directorial debut Oru Kuttanadan Blog, they always had this feeling of a heavily underdeveloped idea that somehow achieved a presentable structure. His new venture, Maheshum Marutiyum, starring Asif Ali and Mamta Mohandas in lead roles, is also a sloppy script where he struggles to build something exciting based on an interesting concept.
As the title suggests, the movie is about Mahesh and his one true love, his father’s Maruti 800. The particular 800 was handed over to his father, Padmanabhan, by prime minister Indira Gandhi back in 1983. The story of that car and Mahesh and how it changes when his childhood crush Gowri comes to meet him is what we see in Sethu’s Maheshum Marutiyum.
The writing here doesn’t have that organic progression. You have this very generic flashback episode of Padmanabhan bringing the car to his home. Sethu tries to make that area interesting by connecting events with real-life incidents, such as Indira Gandhi’s death, the Peruman tragedy, etc. But sadly, all of them fall flat. A whole episode in the movie shows Mahesh’s love for the car when his car gets stolen. And one can chop that entire series of events off easily, and it wouldn’t affect the story. Even the flimsy interval punch, created for the heroine’s entry, struggles to give us a feeling that it is a conflict in the story. The insensitiveness Gowri shows in the second half somewhere reveals the sweet twist they saved for the final act.
Asif Ali’s sincere performance is the only thing that saves this movie from being a difficult experience. He has that glow in his eyes to make Mahesh’s equation with the car believable for the audience. Mamta Mohandas, who appears in the movie’s second half, looks pretty, confident, and desirable, which is pretty much what the script wanted her to do. Maniyanpilla Raju, Shaju Sreedhar, Divya M Nair, Varun Dhara, etc., are the other names in the cast.
When you backtrack the whole film, you can see the creative laziness in the writing department. It is almost like they went with the very first thought that came to their mind. The paradigm shift that happened in Mahesh’s life is very jarring, and it was almost like they had to make some compromises to accommodate the interest of the company, Maruti Suzuki. Faiz Siddiq’s frames are light and sunny, maintaining the mood Sethu wants for the movie. The music sounded perfect, but sadly the situations created were extremely superficial to make any impact.
Maheshum Marutiyum is a very surface-level gaze at a motor enthusiast’s emotions. The writing’s aimlessness makes it even more underwhelming. The news heading that inspired Sethu to write this movie is shown at the very end of the film. But this unimaginative script never deserved those earnest tears that came from Asif Ali’s eyes.
Maheshum Marutiyum is a very surface-level gaze at a motor enthusiast's emotions. The writing's aimlessness makes it even more underwhelming.
Green: Recommended Content
Orange: The In-Between Ones
Red: Not Recommended