Madhura Veeran: A brave attempt to reflect Tamil pride, honor
Movie Review by Dhanalakshmi R (Rocheston Certified Movie Critic)
It’s been over a year since the Jallikattu protests took centrestage and became a hotbed of projecting Tamil pride and honor. However, its impact refuses to die down and rears its head time and again,especially through art and cinema. Madhura Veeran chooses to play jallikattu as a backdrop and yet, quite interestingly doesn’t show the hero, Durai (Shanmuga Pandian) taking part in the protest at any point in time. Tamil pride and honor is embedded throughout the film but it does raise pertinent questions about caste and honor.
The film’s story revolves around Durai, who returns to his village from Malaysia with his mother, to find a bride for himself. However, his real motive is to avenge his father’s murder and to conduct jallikattu successfully at his native place, which has seen several disputes among the dwellers over the years based on caste and honor. Madhura Veeran looks at challenges faced by Durai to fulfill his mission. Director Muthaiah’s (known for his cinematographer) directorial debut is an interesting film as it sheds light on caste-politics in the backdrop of jallikattu. It raises pertinent questions and has a compelling story at its heart. The problem with the film is in its writing, which is not strong enough to sustain interest throughout the length of the film. The first half has scenes which absolutely make no sense, but the film does pick steam in the second half.
It is important to move to the lead actor’s acting skills at this point in time. Shanmuga Pandian needs to work on emoting. In his debut film, his range of expressions seem quite limited and even cringe-worthy in parts. However, he does show promise in pulling off action sequences, especially owing to his towering personality.Samuthirakani as Rathnavelu (Durai’s dad) has an amazing screen presence. Though he appears in very few scenes, he does leave a mark with his strong dialogue delivery and his scenes in the film are some of the most impactful ones. Apart from them, there are not many solid characters in the film. Madura Veeran gets to perform in certain scenes and shines in some of them but he is not consistent.
Muthaiah also doubles up as a cinematographer for his directorial and has done a remarkable job. He has captured the essence of the village lifestyle perfectly. In addition, he has juxtaposed actual scenes from jallikattu protests in the film and added the much-needed realistic element to it. Another technical aspect that works for in the favour of the film is its background score. Created by Santhosh Dhayanidhi, it sets the mood and pace for the film.
Madhura Veeran attempts to raise important questions on caste and honor in the backdrop of Jallikattu. It succeeds fairly in its attempt.