Maragadha Nanayam movie review

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Towards the end of the hilarious Maragadha Nanayam is a scene that is set in a tea shop. As Senguttuvan (Aadhi) and his friend Elango (Danie) rest after much of the film’s madcap eccentricities, Mundasupatti’s background score starts playing and a wall of the teashop has a poster of Indru Netru Naalai pasted on it. Apparently, the film’s director ARK Saravanan is a close friend of the directors of both these fantasies and the scene is a nod to their friendship. Of all the tea shops in Kodambakkam frequented by those struggling for a chance in Tamil films, their’s must have been the most fun to visit.

One can sense the excitement that must have gone into writing this wacky comedy. Just imagine what it must have been to sketch a female character for an artiste as beautiful as Nikki Galrani, and then decide to get Kaali Venkat, of all people, to dub for her.

Yet its wackiness doesn't seem forced like it did in Jil Jung Juk. It is almost organic in this story about two smugglers trying to find a cursed emerald amulet to sell to a Chinese collector for Rs.10 crore. Over 130 people had died trying to retrieve it, and it’s up to Senguttuvan and his friend to attempt the impossible without touching the amulet. So why not call upon the service of a ghost to do so?

Of course, the ghost in question (played wonderfully by Muneeskanth) isn’t an ordinary one. He agrees to help them find the emerald but, in return, wants three of his friends to be brought back from dead. Scenes where they go looking for three more bodies for their spirits to inhabit are the most fun scenes I’ve seen in a Tamil film in a long time.

One wishes some of these jokes had extended to the second half as well. It’s all there, but the novelty wears off soon. It also doesn’t help that we’re not given a sense of who these people really are. We’re told that Senguttavan desperately needs Rs. 40 lakh but we don’t sense the urgency.

Same goes with the four ghosts. We never really understand why a ghost would spend his time back on earth trying to help two lowlifes instead of visiting his family.

Given how fun Maragadha Nanayam really is, we’re willing to let the film leave these questions unanswered. A proof that fantastical comedies aren’t as ‘untouchable’ as the industry makes them seem, much like the amulet, the film feels like a gem, however unpolished.