Magalir Mattum movie review
Director Bramma who gave the National Award winning 'Kuttram Kadithal' has joined hands with the comeback queen Jyothika as the anchor of 'Magalir Mattum' a story about three childhood friends who meet after decades played delighfully by Urvashi, Banupriya and Saranya Ponvannan. Whether the film makes the desired impact with the audience remains to be seen.
Prabhavathi, (Jyothika) a documentary filmmaker is a fast friend of her future mother-in-law Gomatha (Urvashi) and even moves in with her after her fiancé leaves for abroad. One of her documentaries inspires Prabha to help Gomatha to find her long lost friends. With the help of Facebook she first locates Rani (Banupriya) who lives in Agra and the duo go there find her living as an unpaid servant to her male chauvinist politician husband (Nassar) and son Karthi (Paval).
Later they find Subbu (Saranya) too by similar means and she too joins them in what the writer-director wants us to believe to be a life changing journey but which actually turns out to be a string of contrived sequences that neither drive home the message nor highlight the theme convincingly.
Congrats are due to Jyothika for dubbing her own character with perfect Tamil diction. However, her performance suffers due to the half baked characterization and sadly the end result is she stands out as artificial in most scenes. Urvashi, Banupriya and Saranya Ponvannan are the real stars of the show here and each one of them has scenes to prove their mettle and they do it effortlessly. Saranya's introduction is well conceived and executed by a long duration shot without a cut in which she brilliantly establishes her character with just body language as she tends to her bedridden foul mouthed mother in law and alcoholic husband.
She provides laughter too when she uses the punching bag to vent her anger on her husband. Banupriya looks as beautiful as ever and has given a measured performance as a woman who is institutionalized by her domineering men . Urvashi is all fun and frolic and holds her own from the beginning till the very end and effectively conveys her loneliness too. The three girls who play the younger versions of the heroines are well cast and each one of them deserves high praises.
Pavel makes a huge impact first making the audience hate him for his barbaric behavior towards his mother Banupriya and later when he breaks down in front of her.
Nasser has done this type of role before while Livingstone makes his presence felt in the couple of scenes he has especially his singing of Ilayaraja classics playing the guitar. Maddy makes a special appearance though there is nothing too special character wise.
The most appreciable aspect of 'Magalir Mattum' is casting three brilliant senior actresses as the leads and giving them enough scope to perform. The film can be watched with family and there are a few scenes which are genuinely moving. The flashback sequences about the friendship of the heroines in the 70s is both touching and heartwarming.
On the downside the film gives the false impression of taking up the cause of the neglected woman, but does not go the distance content wise. There are forced lines mouthed by Jyothika about the neglected women, which are of the been- there- seen- them -all -before variety.
The director's idea of liberating the middle aged women is by getting them drunk, prancing around in a village costume where anyone can hug anyone and a tiring long jeep ride with nothing much happening. Banupriya's Hindi speaking family background is as unconvincing as the character arc of her son Pavel .
After setting up the story to a certain extent of interest in the first half, the second is a complete let down as nothing the screenplay falls flat.
Ghibran as usual has given his best in the background score and his songs gel well with the storyline. Manikandan's camera work is brilliant and he has successfully executed long takes with the aforementioned Saranya introduction taking the cake. C.S.Prem has cut at a leisurely pace which the script demands.
Bramma has attempted a completely different genre to his celebrated debut 'Kuttram Kadithal'. One can say that he shows brilliance in conceiving some characters while hits rock bottom in others. And the same is true with his content too which alternates between brilliance and mediocrity.
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