Meyaadha Maan – A slice of life comedy!
This is what I had written about 'Madhu', one of the short films that was a part of Bench Talkies.
Then comes ‘Madhu’ which is clearly the crowd favourite. A zany comedy by Rathnakumar, it works primarily due to the lively performance of its entire cast. The lead player and his stout friend are particularly brilliant. The gloomy ambience set up by the 4 previous films also helps us to appreciate this livewire all the more. This maker surely knows the taste of today's theatre going audience.
Meyaadha Maan is Rathnakumar's attempt to develop Madhu into a feature film. It is 2017 and we do not frequently see unrequited love on screen, atleast of the type we see in Meyaadha Maan. It is not love that is rejected but love that is untold. That is why the hero is called 'Idhayam' Murali, in reference to a film that released 26 years back (1991). It could be a little difficult to find a more recent film that had such a protagonist.
Meyaadha Maan is one of those films where the story is mostly incidental and the film is more about the characters and how they respond when cupid strikes. The acting is consistently good. All the four actors Vaibhav, Vivek Prassana, Priya Bhavani Shankar and the actress playing Sudar (Vaibhav's sister) strike the perfect balance. They are amusing and yet remain realistic in their portrayal.
Despite being a comedy, the film treats the two romantic tracks with all due seriousness. We laugh at many things that Murali (Vaibhav) does but throughout the film he is never mocked at. Apart from the actors the music plays a huge part in this. There are places when the music ensures that we feel the pain that Vaibhav undergoes. This is a very simple film and yet it has so much to savour. The Vijay and Ajith references too are delightfully placed and never look like cheap gimmicks. We might or might not have come across such characters in real life but halfway into the film and we understand the relationship dynamics of the four characters.
Vivek Prasanna reprises his role from Madhu and this is a very important film for him. He did make an impression in all the recent films that he has been a part of - Sethupathy, Peechangai, Vikram Vedha to name a few. But Meyaadha Maan could be his calling card. This role is possibly the closest he has come to play his real age.
The film did seem a little long and there are portions where you expected more laughter but they merely pass off as a smile. The Yoga episode involving the heroine's father for instance. I also did not particularly enjoy the attempt to create a sense of tension that did not have a solid reasoning. There is a scene where Vivek Prasana is shown as trying to hide something from Vaibhav when he gets a call. We never get to know why? But most of these are minor complaints.
Meyaadha Maan reinforces the fact that we can trust a product that involves Karthik Subburaj. Debutant Rathnakumar seems like someone, who while having a grip over the medium and a fine sensibility can also make it palatable to the mainstream audience.