Choose your channels

Maharaja Review

Review by IndiaGlitz [ Friday, June 14, 2024 • Hindi ]
Maharaja Review
Vijay Sethupathi, Anurag Kashyap and Mamta Mohandas, Natty (Natraj), Bharathiraja, Abhirami, Mamta Mohandas, Singampuli, Aruldoss, Munishkanth, Vinoth Sagar, Boys Manikandan, Kalki, Sachana Namidass
Nithilan Saminathan
Sudhan Sundaram, Jagadish Palanisamy
B Ajaneesh Loknath

Maharaja - Majestic in performances, writing and execution

Versatile star actor Vijay Sethupathi has hit a majestic milestone with his fiftieth film 'Maharaja'.  Nithilan Swaminathan the maker of the critically acclaimed 'Kurangu Bommai' has written and directed adding to the already sky high expectations.  Does the deceptive crime thriller deliver the goods is what we are looking for in this Maharaja Review.

'Maharaja' a barber enters a local police station complaining that his much valued "Lakshmi" has been stolen by three intruders and she has to be found before his teenage daughter Jyothi (Sachana Namidass) returns from a sports event.  The perplexed cops headed by Natty Nataraj find it difficult to pry out who or what Lakshmi is but agree to toe Maharaja's line after he offers them a very lucrative bribe.  As the investigation unfolds we are introduced to a psychopathic killer (Boys Manikandan) and a couple of  robbers Anurag Kashyap and Ratchasan Vinod Sagar who ruthlessly kill innocent women and children after looting their houses.  What is the connection between these characters and the Lakshmi that Maharaja is searching for is what forms the rest of the intriguing screenplay.

Vijay Sethupathi who has had mixed fortunes in his last few films in lead roles has made a solid comeback as an actor in 'Maharaja'.  He has flawlessly brought to life a rather meek but resilient common man who would move heaven and earth for his daughter.  If in the scenes in the police station he brings the house down with his stubborn antics, he sends chills down the spine when he tackles one of the psychos with  his own quirkiness.  Kudos to the Makkal Selvan for letting the other actors such as Natty, Anurag, Singampuli and Jyothi take center stage and score in the last thirty minutes.  The confident actor has also remained subdued in the climax which few heroes will agree to.  Anurag Kashyap is brilliant as the ruthless killer who at the same time is a loving husband and father.  The climax twist to his character works well for the film.  Natty Natraj as the corrupt cop who comes into his own in the climax is aptly cast while Singam Puli in his career best role dominates in the most crucial sequence.  Abhirami, Mamta Mohandas, Muniskanth, Arul Doss and  Kalki add value to the supporting cast.

What works best in 'Maharaja' is the non linear screenplay that hides several wow moments.  Every perplexing question that is raised in the first half has clearly been answered in the second.  What "Lakshmi" is and its significance in the present and the past is mindblowing.  The mass moment in the police station where Maharaja puts the police on the defence and the Singam Puli sequence are classic.  The film showcases how coincidences and even good deeds can bring great misery to one's life.  Nithilan Swaminathan has once again shown that the biggest villains are the most common men who live ordinary lives.  Usually in such films the cops will be portrayed as fools but here they too are given their due at the end which is refreshing.   The film's closing image of the villain's blood filling up the girl's footprint is poignant, emphasizing on how karma sneaks up on the sinners to punish them in the most personal manner.

On the downside the core issue itself is not novel and has been beaten to death  especially in Tamil cinema.  The writing at times is too convenient and there is a loose end as to how VJS identified the first attacker.   The pacing especially in the first hour or so is a tad draggy.   The fetish of the villains of taking time to cook and eat sumptuous meals in the houses they rob apart from raping the victims is definately an overdose.

Philomin Raj's masterful editing ensures that all the layers of the story unfold engagingly and finally merge into one. Background score by B Ajaneesh Loknath of 'Kantara' fame is a plus.  Dinesh Purushothaman's untiring lens work captures the dimly lit gory violence and keeps the frames pregnant with suspense throughout.  Anal Arasu's bone crunching blood splattering stunt choreography and V. Selvakumar's brilliant Production Design deserves high praises. Passion Studios Sudhan Sundaram who has backed several meaningful films has come up with a majestic winner both critically and commercially.  Nithilan Swaminathan is the true Maharaja for producers as he has made a pan Indian appealing film without wasting any money or resource on superfluous grandeur.  A salute to him for banking solely on his writing and making that has a telling effect on the audiences. 

Verdict : Go for this emotionally charged mindbender driven by extraordinary performances 

Rating: 3.5 / 5.0


Login to post comment

Showcase your talent to millions!!

Write about topics that interest you - anything from movies to cricket, gadgets to startups.