Madharasapattinam Movie Review

An old English lady, counting her days on earth, faces a major surgery in a week’s time, stumbles upon an ‘object’ at her home which she had been preserving for more than 60 years.

The object, which has a huge story hidden behind it, has to be handed over to its owner. She has to travel from London to Chennai to handover the object. Setting aside her relatives’ advice asking her not to undertake the trip to India, she decides to leave for Chennai along with her grand-daughter.
As she alights from the train at the Chennai Central Railway Station, the old lady gets nostalgic about the events that took place in the city more than 60 years ago, when it was under the control of British. The script, not so dissimilar to ‘Titanic’, begins to unravel with incidents from the old woman’s past life and her present-day search for the owner of the object.

Flashback to the forties: The beautiful daughter of a British Governor falls in love with a youth who washes clothes for them. It’s not love-at-first-sight but a feeling which blossoms gradually from the heart. She didn’t mind that she had already been engaged to a British Police Officer (a la ‘Titanic’). The struggle of the locals against the British aggressors, the love story between the youth and the girl and the old woman’s present-day search, have all been woven beautifully together.

Watch the film to find out whether the young girl was able to unit with her lover and whether the old woman reached the ‘object’ to its owner.

The most striking feature about the film is the way the art director and the director have combined to ‘recreate’ the Madras of the olden days. Nirav Shah’s cinematography and Selvakumar’s art work deserve special mention for their commendable work. The Tram vehicle, the clean ‘Cooum’ of yesteryears and the pushing-cart vehicle, etc. bring before our eyes the Madras which existed more than six decades ago.

The effort and the research work the film’s crew has done are tangible in every sequence. The ultra-commercial minded thinking, which has become commonplace in today’s Chennai, is depicted well through the greedy travel agent’s role.

Though the story could hardly be termed as novel as we have seen plenty of films in which two men clash to win the heart of a girl, the treatment is what separates Vijay from the rest of his contemporaries. He has kept up the good work and the promise shown in his earlier films ‘Kireedom’ and ‘Poi Solla Porom’.

The second-half moves at a breakneck speed as compared to the first. The events taking place on the night of India’s Independence and the climax sequences have been filmed enigmatically by the director.

Emy Jackson, the surprise package, is the soul of the film. The British national delivers an awesome performance and is all the more credible as it has come in a film whose language is completely alien to her.

Aarya, who looks powerfully built and passes off in wrestling sequences, fails to emote well in sequences where he needed to show his full flair of emotions. Aarya, an amazing actor, could have put in a better effort in show-casing his acting prowess, proved in many films in the past. Still, his body language helps him overcome these flaws.

Music by G.V. Prakash Kumar isn’t much to write about but a couple of numbers are hummable. Background score could have been better conceived on most occasions. Nirav Shah’s work is extremely appreciable and enthralling.

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