Maharaja (Tamil) Review

After the much acclaimed ‘Kurangu Bommai’, Nithilan Swaminathan is back after so many years with yet another thriller. Everyone in the industry would have been looking forward at this second film, which is titled as Maharaja for the sheer brilliance of the director. Another important hype surrounding this film is that this movie happens to be the 50th film of ‘Makkal Selvan’ Vijay Sethupathi. It is known that VJS is famous for playing lead protagonist in content driven films. Yes, Maharaja is one among them and the film also surprises with the casting choices.

Maharaja follows a barber who comes to the police station after an eventual night to report the missing of ‘Lakshmi’. The police officers are puzzled after hearing his story and the proceedings to find the true motive forms the rest of the movie.

Immediately after the title card rolls, the director jumps into the core plot after a simple and concise story telling method to establish the protagonist. The man is simple and his bond over daughter is so eloquent. There is a parallel story involving the murder and robbery of ornaments that establishes the antagonists and their modus operandi so well. The comic episodes in the initial portions do not seem to beat down the central theme. Instead the narrative turns to more surprises and thrills with each passing episodes.

The intermission scene is where the proceedings get even more interesting which says there is more to this story. The script and screenplay is so masterly as the connection between the characters are brought so well. In fact, the narration gives no clue to the audience for them to guess the next scene. The thrills and the emotional angle are blended so smoothly in the narrations such that the audience are able to sit through the violent and bloody scenes.

The performances are so brilliant as each characters gets so much prominence in the story. The casting is really surprising which could be one reason for the audience to find it difficult to anticipate the next scene. The character of Vijay Sethupathi stays under the script but his screen presence and body language is impressive enough to give a heroic image in the combat scenes without affecting the story. The most striking episode comes in the last 45 minutes when he has to retell the story but with a twist that is haunting and vicious. The emotional side of the story feels so genuine and never needed any cinematic exaggeration. Perhaps the driving factor of the movie even with all those twist and turns.

Talking about the surprising casts, it is so well in casting actors to do roles that feels so refreshing and new for the audience. Perhaps the only major actors that gets very less screen time and prominence will be of Mamta & Abhirami, though Abhirami is slightly consequential.

Anurag Kashyap has the best scope to perform in the climax while Natty & Singam Puli prove to be impactful and welcoming. The biggest strength is the flawless script and screenplay which is backed by an intelligent execution to bring out the thrills and shivers. The content reserves so much excitement in the latter half, thanks to the packaging that avoids silly plot-holes. Though there is a major plot twist which can be foreseen by viewers early on, the best part is that it doesn’t hamper the audience experience. The final moments are worth it and it would have been even more wonderful if the main plot twist was left unanswered.

Emotionally satisfying with all the gore and surprise turns, making it a must watch film.

Rating – 4/5

Compiled By Jayaram