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Home > Movies > Reviews

Mayakannadi is a brave, real film

Shwetha Bhaskar | April 16, 2007 15:18 IST

Ever thought you could see true realism in the outrageous world of Tamil cinema, with its illogical plot lines and flying stuntmen?

Then welcome to Mayakannadi, a sequence of reality bites that ironically sends the message that the common man cannot live in a world of fantasy that films portray. This movie says 'wake up and smell the coffee' like no other film in the recent past.

Kumar (Cheran) and Maheshwari (Navya Nair) are lovers working in a swank beauty salon in Chennai (or so we are expected to believe, even though all the salon sequences are shot very prominently in the Eva Mall in Bangalore!)

They yearn to gallivant around the city, like most young lovers but need money to do so. To better their lot, the two become LIC insurance agents but find doors slammed on their faces wherever they go.

Discontented with his middle class existence, Kumar joins the film industry.

Maheshwari supports his naive optimism, confident that her man will make it big in the industry in no time. However, the two discover that the film industry is a cruel world where there are just too many like him aspiring for a few meagre roles.

Kumar struggles to carve a niche for himself, especially since he has no specific USP (he tries to flick a cigarette in a stylish fashion ala Rajnikanth, but does not possess the required hand-eye coordination). As an additional blow, he gets fired from the salon for being too distracted.

In desperation, Kumar gets involved with nefarious activities that land him in a soup. He soon comes to realize that some things are beyond the reach of the common man and that one has to be content with one's lot in life. 

A brave film indeed for not resorting to the usual cliches and daring to go where very few filmmakers dare to go -- the ordinary realm of the despondency of the common man.

The only downside of the film is that it is too long.

Cheran has done a superb job directing as well as acting (especially with his transition from the slick artificially straightened haired hairdresser to a remorseful convict).

Nayva Nair is as effervescent as ever and her innocence and optimism in the face of all Cheran's setbacks is poignant.

Music by Ilaiyaraja is okay (save for one song where the lead pair are clad in various western outfits, wearing wigs that can only be described as ghastly).

This is a film that truly tells a story about real people -- people who don't always succeed, who don't always get what they want and who aren't capable of superhuman feats.

Rediff rating:

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