MADRAS – Movie Review

113.Madras - Movie ReviewAfter going through a very hard time in his career, Karthi is back with ‘MADRAS’. After the sleeper hit ‘ATTAKATHI’, in December 2012, Director Ranjith confirmed that he would shortly begin working on a project titled ‘SARPATTA PARAMPARAI’ with Karthi in the lead role. The project was subsequently delayed and never took off. Later in July 2013, they joined hands for a different project named ‘KAALI’ (which was renamed as ‘MADRAS’ in May 2014). The initial shooting commenced on October 2013 at Vyasarpadi in Chennai. Most of the film’s shooting was done in localities in and around Kasimedu, Royapuram, Otteri and Perambur. Catherine Tresa plays the female lead role. Filming was wrapped up by June 2014. The trailer, teaser, songs and every other promotions from the team was continuously getting appreciations from media & public and increased the audiences’ expectations level. Has Karthi managed to give the much-needed HIT in his career through MADRAS? Read on, to know!

STORY:
The film is set in Vyasarpadi (North Madras) and it is about the rivalry between two political groups, their enmity and ego over a giant wall which is used for political promotions primarily! The war for the wall is continuing for decades and takes many people’s lives, but is never ending. MADRAS deals primarily with the culture, traditions and the politics in the life of North Madras people.

After his debut film ‘ATTAKATHI’ which was a decent & unique entertainer, we can see director Ranjith’s dexterity in writing in MADRAS. The film is perfect in every other technical aspects and narration. He introduces us the most important characters of the film ANBU, MAARI, KAALI, KANNAN, VIJI, BLUE BOYS, JOHNNY, PERUMAAL, KALAI in the first 10 minutes itself; also, the brief introduction about THE WALL is also too good. We are able to relate with the characters very easily, which has been the biggest plus point. MADRAS can be easily called as the best in Karthi / Studio Green’s career till date, next to #Paruthiveeran; it is a perfect comeback for him after 2 disaster movies and the average BIRIYANI. The story’s flow / narration has been impeccable all through! Even though we might be able to predict a few scenes or twists, Ranjith presents them is in an unexpected & enjoyable way.

Except for reminding the earlier North Madras films at times and 1 or 2 dragging scenes here and there, the film is perfect as a good entertainer. Even though the climax is predictable / clichéd, it looks best for this script. The film is completely gripping and the tension is there till the end. The emotions (friendship between Kaali & Anbu, the intimacy between Anbu & his wife, Kaali’s mother’s love for him) and the romance portions have  worked out very well; even small things like the dialogue ‘ITHUKKAA DA, UNNAI VARAM KETTU PETHEN’ is well connectable with the audience. Santhosh Narayanan _/\_ His music is the soul of the movie! Each and every songs’s visual has been a visual treat to the audience! On flip side, only the romance portions looks a little dragged in the second half.

Coming to performance, the casting has been the most important plus point of MADRAS. Each and every actor has given their best, and it is because of them, we never feel like watching a film anywhere. Karthi has given a neatly underplayed performance understanding what is expected from him; after a very long time, probably after ‘NAAN MAHAAN ALLA’, we are seeing him in such a boy-next-door role! Kalaiyarasan as ANBU steals the show completely; after giving an extra-ordinary performance in MADHA YAANAI  KOOTTAM earlier, he has just lived as ANBU. This versatile performer will go places, if he continues to choose such excellent scripts! Even though not having much scope to perform, Catherine Tresa has done a convincing job as the Madras girl; her dubbing and lip sync has been perfect. Her make-up was only too bad in few scenes. All other actors in the characters of MAARI, KANNAN, VIJI, BLUE BOYS, JOHNNY and PERUMAAL have done a fantastic job. Technically, MADRAS is brilliant! Whether it is the stupendous job by Murali in cinematography or the extra-ordinary cuts by editor Praveen, everything was neatly crafted. With such beautiful songs and a thumping background score, Santhosh Narayanan proved his brilliance once again. The stunts were also too realistic yet powerful.

RATING: 3.75 /5

VERDICT: Brilliantly written. One of the finest entertainers of the year!

Review by: Rahman

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