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Maamanithan Review

Review by IndiaGlitz [ Friday, June 24, 2022 • Malayalam ]
Maamanithan Review
Banner:
YSR Productions
Cast:
Vijay Sethupathi, Gayathrie, K. P. A. C. Lalitha, Guru Somasundaram, Shaji Chen, Jewel Mary, Anikha, Ganja Karuppu, Manasvi Kottachi, Saravana Sakthi
Direction:
Seenu Ramasamy
Production:
Yuvan Shankar Raja, Shan Sutharasan
Music:
Ilaiyaraaja, Yuvan Shankar Raja, Karthik Raja

Maamanithan - An emotional family drama backed by solid performances

Vijay Sethupathi and his mentor Seenu Ramaswamy have combined for the fourth time to deliver the family emotion packed 'Maamanithan'.  Will this film give them both the same joy that 'Thenmerku Paruva Kaatru' and 'Dharmadhurai' remain to be seen.

Radha Krishnan (Parthiban) is an auto driver who leads a happy life with his wife Savithri (Gayathrie Shankar) and school going son and daughter.  His ambition to educate his children in fancy English medium convents leads him to try a new business as a partner to a real estate developer Madhavan (Shaji Chen).  He uses his goodwill to get the whole rural town to invest in the project.  Madhavan turns out to be a crook and scoots off with the public money that forces Radha Krishnan to abandon his family and abscond.  Whether the tainted man who runs away can fight against all odds to prove his innocence and reunite with his family or not, forms the screenplay of 'Maamanithan'.

In the recent past we have been treated to various shades of the dark side of Vijay Sethupathi as the Bhavanis and Santhanams.  Here in 'Maamanithan' he has totally transformed into the lower middle class husband and father who harbours only love, even for his enemies.  The Makkal Selvan peaks as a performer in the scene where he breaks down to his close friend Bhai (Guru Somasundaram) before running away.   S. Gayathrie is in top form as the girl from a modest background who experiences everything from poverty to a good life and then a terrible misfortune.  With very minimal makeup she has also nailed the middle aged getup with just her body language that stands proof for her caliber as a very capable actress.  Guru Somasundaram as the muslim friend of Vijay Sethupathi has once again scored big by playing the character with subtlety.  Shaji Chen, Jewel Mary, Anikha Surendran, Ganja Karuppu, Manasvi Kottachi, Saravana Sakthi, Manikandan Achari and the late KPAC Lalitha are all aptly cast in their respective roles.

The highpoints of 'Maamanithan' apart from the acting performances are the episode that shows how the lead pair become husband and wife, Vijay Sethupathi's emotional interaction with his enemy's mother in Kerala and his platonic relationship with the Kerala widow and her daughter.  A crucial twist that works is when Guru Somasundaram reveals the truth about VJS to his family.   The moment in which Vijay Sethupathi is advised by his daughter to run away mirroring his own advice to her is moving.

On the flip side the film plays out like a serial and some of the dialogues are artificial like the ones that Vijay Sethupathi and his children speak in the initial scenes and the Kasi aghoris calling the hero Maamanithan (title justification?).  The interesting journeys of the protagonist suddenly turn hurried when it reaches Kasi and everything falls out of place after that including the abrupt and unconvincing climax.  The regressive moment of the film that even defeats its hero's image is when the long suffering innocent wife falls at his feet and seeks his pardon and he accepts it.

Fans have much higher expectations for the first time combo of Ilayaraja and Yuvan Shankar Raja for their musical score for 'Maamanithan' more so as this is their own film production venture.  The cinematography (M Sukumar) and editing (A. Sreekhar Prasad) are the two pillars that hold the film together.   Seenu Ramasamy like all his previous body of work has no doubt provided an emotional content and has also extracted solid performances from his actors.  But on the whole his latest offering rests heavily on the melodramatic side. R.K. Suresh is presenting the film with passion after its long delay.

Verdict : Go for this one for the solid performances of the cast and the relatable story moments.

Rating: 3 / 5.0

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