Enkitta Mothathe: A Nostalgic Ride to Star Rivalry
Movie Review by Anirudh Madhav (Rocheston Certified Movie Critic)
In an age where films are heavily promoted on social media platforms, and star rivalry thrives in the form of an alarming number of memes, Enkitta Mothathe (Don’t Mess with Me) provides us an insight into the world of fan frenzy and cut-out politics that existed during the Rajini-Kamal era.
The period film which takes place between 1986 to 1989, follows the life of two cut-out artists, Ravi (Natty Nataraj), who is a Rajini fan, and Nallaperumal (Rajaji), who is a Kamal fan. Ravi and Nallaperumal are forced to shift from Nagercoil to Tirunelveli, after their brief encounter with a policeman.
Despite being ardent fans of two uprising actors, Ravi and Nallaperumal remain the best of friends, and they even find success together in their painting business. However, their life takes an unsuspected turn when they have a face-off with the local politician Chidambaram (Vijay Murugan) and Radha Ravi, a theater owner, and minister.
Following Natty’s successful outing as a con man in Sathuranga Vettai, he perfectly fits the bill as Ravi, a devout Rajini fan. With his carefree attitude and a hairstyle inspired from Thalaivar, his body language exudes confidence. Rajaji’s role is sidelined in the latter half of the film with the focus shifting to Ravi’s rivalry with Chidambaram. Parvathy Nair and Sanchita Shetty play Rajaji and Ravi’s respective love interests, and they do justice to their roles.
Debut director Ramu Chellapa manages to capture the electric mood that dominates the atmosphere surrounding the pre-release of a star-studded film. He also captures the gritty, dark lanes of Tirunelveli realistically.
Enkitta Mothathe has the potential to be an out and out gritty thriller like Subramaniapuram, but due to its balanced mix of comedy, romance, and action, the film ends up being a breezy yet thrilling ride.
The Dialogues are spot-on in the film; the sequence where Ravi and Radha Ravi have a face-off the middle of the theater definitely deserves mention.
With an 80’s theme at its core, Natarajan Sankaran’s music succeeds in bringing together a mix of fast and romantic songs. Cinematographer C. Ganesh Chandra deserves mention for his intelligent lighting in the late-night scenes. He brings in the 80s vibe with a sepia tone.
Attention to details such as the costumes, paintings, and glimpses of scenes from Nayagan and Manithan perfect the feel of the Rajini-Kamal fan frenzy in this period film. With a crisp editing by Athiyappan Siva and an engaging screenplay, Enkitta Modathey is a nostalgic ride to stardom.