Neela Padmanabhan’s ‘Thalaimuraigal’ is considered as one of the top ten novels in Tamil modern literature by critics for it throws light on human relationships in an interesting manner with gripping sequence of events.
Director Gowthaman deserves pat for ensuring that the charm of the novel is not spoilt when he made it as a movie in ‘Magizhchi’. Quite appropriate to the title, the movie movies at a pace that is engrossing and stresses the need to respect relationships. More than dwelling on the story, the film aims at chronicling the lives of few characters that we see in our daily life. Set in Iraniyal village, the movie revolves around Chettiyar community.
Describing the flashback through paintings in the beginning itself, the director promises that it would not be a routine affair. There are no cinematic clichés be it the way the hero or the heroine is introduced. Gowthaman ensures that all is at ease.
The movie revolves around Thiravi (Gowthaman) for whom his sister (Karthika) is everything. He lives a contended life with his parents, grand mother and sister. He also gets the job of government teacher in his village.
And Thiravi has a love affair too, with Kuzhali (Anjali). When everything goes well, trouble breaks out in the form of Sevatha Perumal (Sampath Raj). Belonging to the same caste, he marries Thiravi’s sister. But within few months of his wedding, he sends her back to Thiravi’s house alleging that she cannot mother a child.
The incident results in major repercussions in Thiravi’s house and the impact is so much that Kuzhali is forced to marry an outsider by her parents. Thiravi’s efforts to strike peace in his sister’s family end in vain. When he feels everything has slipped from his hands, his friend (Seeman) comes to his rescue.
As the movie progresses, one gets the feel of browsing through pages of a novel. The sequences are narrated in an interesting manner by the director. He also burdens the responsibility of playing the lead role. At places he reminds actor-director Cheran.
Anjali combines glamour and performance. She is impressive as Kuzhali. Karthika as sister is dignified and diligent. Sampath Raj plays a baddie, but with no cinematic clichés. Prakashraj, Ganja Karuppu and Sukumari fit the roles well.
The highlight of the film is Vidyasagar’s music. Earthy and rustic, the songs are a blend of melody and racy beats. On the flip side, the movie goes melodramatic at many places. The scenes are lengthy needing an urgent trimming.
On the whole ‘Magizhchi’ is a bold attempt by Gowthaman and would set a fresh trend for movie genres to follow.