Maithanam is one of the best films that have emerged out of Kollywood in recent times. The film is bold, experimental and daringly different with a solid storyline and new actors.
Debutant director MS Sakthivel’s story and screenplay is refreshingly fresh and he is innovative by roping in four assistant directors in the lead. The film’s basic thread is on Kollywood’s “Friends Forever” formula seen in films like Subramaniapuram and Nadodigal. But there is no blood, gore, skin or ‘Thiruvizha’ songs.
Sukumar (Suresh Guru), Logu (Jyothi Raj), Siva (Sekhar) and Suri(Kennedy) are four friends who will do anything for each other. They live in small village between Coimbatore and temple town of Palani.
Sukumar the rough and tough guy is the leader of the pack and his father Velu (director Agathian) is disciplined man whose world revolves around his daughter Shanti (Swasika). Shanthi has a soft corner for her brother’s friend Logu, who is not willing to express his love even when her marriage is fixed.
A month before her marriage Shanti vanishes. Her parents and the friends carry out a futile search operation. Where has Shanti disappeared or has she been kidnapped is unravelled in the second half as friendship among the four takes a beating.
The film works as it is a triumph of honest writing. There are several moments when it could have become a steamy tearjerker, but the director holds back, giving the film its gravitas. The milieu and the actors perfectly meld with the story making it chillingly realistic.
All the characters in the film including Sukumar’s father and mother, Sekhar’s ‘Patti’ or Logu’s mother perfectly fit into the narration.
There are just two full songs and a bit song as the backgrounder which fits in with the narration. Sabesh Murali’s melodious songs and background music is first class along with Vijay’s camerawork. The romance between the lovers is told in a subtle manner.
The anguish among the family members when a young girl goes missing is well brought out without going into hysteria. All the actors have come out with decent performances considering that it is their first film.
On the whole, director Sakthivel deserves a pat on his back, for taking the road less travelled. Don’t miss an outing to Maithanam.