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Marudhamalai: Saved by Arjun
Pavithra Srinivasan | September 07, 2007 18:56 IST
What do you get when you throw a few scenes each from Saamy and Mudhalvan, create a few more sequences inspired by yesteryear blockbusters, add Action King Arjun, beautifully choreographed stunt scenes and a heroine in a blink-and-you-miss act? You end up with Marudhamalai.
Counting on the paisa-vasool policy of earlier films, Arjun and director Suraaj enter the Tamil film arena with yet another potboiler about an upright young police constable single-handedly wiping out goondas and rowdies, armed with a bare minimum of weaponry and lethal fists.
Marudhamalai (Arjun), the son of simple, honest parents (played by Nasser and Kalairani), yearns to join the police force. Passing the required tests, he does so, and his first posting is to Nachiyarpuram, a stronghold of Maasilamani, alias Maasi (Lal), who holds the area in his iron grip, assisted by a band of musclemen placed both high and low � and has ensured the election process has come to a standstill for the past 16 years.
The first half of the film sees Arjun donning the comic mantle together with Vadivelu, who plays his superior officer, Encounter Ekambaram � a role Vadivelu performs with ease. His expressions, dialogues and antics make sure the audience rolls in mirth whenever he appears. Nila makes a brief appearance as well, as Arjun's love interest.
Election Commissioner Suryanarayanan IAS (Raghuvaran) appears on the scene demanding the whys and wherefores of the political ruin of Nachiyarpuram. A rabid round of meetings follow; Election Commissioner and Maasi meet, duly challenge each other, and mayhem ensues, with Arjun's father first threatening Maasi who messes up the elections, Maasi's dusting up of him � which brings an irate Arjun to the scene. A marvellous bout of fisticuffs ensues � resulting in Maasi's first taste of opposition.
From here, matters take a predictable turn, with stylish stunts executed by a sweaty, trim Arjun (who is now promoted as an Inspector, and gives out his cell number so the public can call at times of distress), dozens of rowdies and a Maasi who's locked up in jail and bellows at frequent intervals.
Arjun snatches some time in the middle to romance Nila. The sequence where she displays her 'tiny wishes' produces some laughter, but not when she tumbles on top of him.
D Imman's numbers are full of noise and thundering beats. Meantime, in a climax that reminds you powerfully of the one in Saamy, Arjun packs off the evil-doers in spectacular fashion, leading to much applause.
It is the Action King's movie all the way. Block out the noise, yells, screams, villains and slinky heroine, and you retain an impression of a slick Arjun who can deliver punches with ease, who speaks and dances moderately well, and can arrange his facial features enough to suit the (meager) emotions required of him. He actually makes the action look good.
It is to Lal's credit that he infuses some energy into such a role. Actors like Shanmugarajan are wasted. Raghuvaran makes some impact as well, if you can ignore his finger-wagging � a pity he appears just briefly in the latter half. He'd have made a geat hero.
The rest is a yawn inducing exercise that might test the patience of even a saint. If you're hell-bent on watching it � get large ear-plugs.
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