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Maamannan Review

Review by IndiaGlitz [ Thursday, June 29, 2023 • Tamil ]
Maamannan Review
Red Giant Movies
Udhayanidhi Stalin , Vadivelu , Fahadh Faasil, Keerthy Suresh
Mari Selvaraj
Udhayanidhi Stalin
A.R Rahman

Maamannan - Mari Selvaraj's intense political saga also wins as a father son bonding tale

Mari Selvaraj's third film 'Maamannan' with a strong political subject has come out with the tag of being Udhayanidhi Stalin's last film and also one that has Vadivelu in a totally serious character.   Whether the film will connect to its target audience and convey its multilayered messages remains to be seen.

As in Mari Selvaraj's previous films, 'Maamannan' also deals with the dominant class who subjugate the lower caste people by resorting to any extent of treachery and violence. 'Maamannan' (Vadivelu) is a soft spoken MLA in a Salem constituency.  His son Athi Veeran (Udhayanidhi Stalin) who has a passion for rearing pigs and is also a martial arts teacher.  The son has stopped speaking to his father from his teenage years as the politician failed to fight for justice for the cruel murder of his friends by the upper class men. On the ther side of the spectrum is Rathnavelu (Fahadh Faasil) a sadistic big shot who from the time of his father (Azhagam Perumal) has a stranglehold on Maamannan who is not even allowed to sit in front of him.  When Athi Veeran helps a social worker (Keerthy Suresh) whose free education center is vandalized by Rathnavelu's brother (Sunil Reddy) a chain reaction erupts in which Maamannan and Athirveeran come into direct confrontation with Rathnavelu.  Can they survive the ruthless onslaught is what 'Maamannan' is all about.  

Vadivelu with the help of inspirations from the old school style of emoting has brought life to Maamannan.  In the first half he wins hearts with his subdued performance with the highlight being the shot in which he cries uncontrollably due to his impotence against injustice.  Post interval inspired by his son he becomes an altogether different personality without losing any of his character traits which is an absolute joy to watch.  Fahadh Faasil has turned a rather cliched villain into a memorable one yet again.  He dominates the screen with his intense and aggressive histrionics.  A thesis should be written on how he manages to strike terror every time with just his eyes and facial expressions puny body notwithstanding.  Udhayanidhi Stalin as always tackles Athi Veeran casually but has excelled in the crucial interval block when he inspires Vadivelu's transformation.  Keerthy Suresh sadly is under utilized but serves as a catalyst to the proceedings.   Geetha Kailasam as Vadivelu's wife, Raveena Ravi as Fahadh's wife and Azhagam Perumal have all done justice to their roles.

What works best in 'Maamannan' is the first half that nicely sets up the characters and their conflicts and culminates in a cracker of an interval block.  The scene in which Udhayanidhi insists on Vadivelu to sit down as equal to Fahadh is one of the best conceived and executed in recent times.   Though on the surface level the oppressor versus the suppressed is played out,in the undercurrent the father son conflict and resolution also is equally engaging.  Mari Selvaraj's symbolism using the dog as the aggressor this time and the pigs as the slaves is quite affecting.   The final sequence in which the 'Maamannan' truly becomes one and ascends his throne gives a feeling of deep satisfaction.

On the downside, the film suffers from a few glaring cliches right from the romantic angle to the villain's characterization and actions that are reminiscent of the Sarathkumar-Prakash Raj era.  The grip loosens post interval and only picks up at the end.  The fight choreography does not jell with the rest of the tone of the film and the chief minister casting and the episodes are artificial.  A question arises whether a sitting MLA will have zero police protection even after the intervention of the state head.

A.R. Rahman's background score compliments the immersive cinematography of Theni Easwar showing contrasting elements of good vs evil symbolically.   The songs that are already hits servewell as part of the storytelling at crucial junctures. R.K. Selva has let scenes play out in their full length with most of them managing to work in the films favour with a few misses too.  Red Giant Movies has produced the film with the quality it is known for. Mari Selvaraj who chronicled the strife of the oppressed in 'Pariyerum Perumal ' showed them hitting back in 'Karnan' at the end. In 'Maamannan' he has captured their challenges in surviving as leaders that are more in the mind than from external forces.  Mari is without doubt emerging tall as an unignorable filmmaker and his latest offering too underlines the fact.

Verdict : Go for this intense and well enacted political drama that emphasises equality

Rating: 3.5 / 5.0


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