Mayakkam Enna - Love’s labour not lost


After a confounding slip and an understandable hiatus, Selvaraghavan sensibly returns to a subject he's good at — boy-girl equations. And that too with a hero who understands him best — Dhanush. PudhupettaiMayakkam Enna

Frankly, you couldn't quite understand the train of thought Selvaraghavan pursued in Aayirathil Oruvan, his last release. It left the viewer fretting, fuming and flummoxed! But Mayakkam Enna (U/A) has well-defined characters, a neat screenplay and meaningful exchanges. In fact, ME is several notches higher in quality than Selva's two other films in the genre, including the successful psychological drama, Kaadhal Kondain.

Incidentally, initially you do see similarities between Kaadhal Kondain and ME — the triangle involving two boys and a girl, the hero's eccentric behaviour and his near-orphaned status, to name a few. But Selva's optimism soon takes wing to present a story of subliminal romance that eschews the usual animus, revenge and gore. The practical approach to love and life you see in the youth of today, where issues of the heart aren't too complicated, forms the lifeline of the story. Somewhere down the line, ME reminds you a little of Russel Crowe's, A Beautiful Mind.

Karthik Swaminathan (Dhanush) is an aspiring wildlife photographer. He tries, in vain, to become the assistant of Madhesh (Raviprakash), an ace in the field, whom he reveres. And when he understands that his God has feet of clay, the damage caused is almost irreparable...

But why doesn't he realise that this man isn't his only hope to glory?

A multi-layered role for Dhanush and he plays it convincingly.

At times, Richa Gangopadhyay reminds you of Kaadhal Kondain's Sonia Agarwal. But ME's heroine has more scope to perform, which she does. And special plaudits to her ‘voice' Deepa Venkat!

We are used to films where the heroine changes her wardrobe drastically after marriage to don only saris, as if it is a symbol of marital status and sends a touch-me-not signal! But a maker of Selva's calibre toeing the line is rather strange! Also gone is the English-Tamil lingo. Even in an informal conversation, the husband is ‘ purushan'!

Some of the small characters in ME are striking. And acceptable or not, the father here is interestingly different.

METopping the list of highpoints are Ramji and G. V. Prakash. Tones and lighting that go with the mood of the scenes, mind-blowing silhouettes on the beach — Ramji's wizardry with the camera is praiseworthy. And kudos to GV for the melodies, the musicality even in the mundane ‘Oda Oda' song, the mellifluous theme piece, and most of all the significant silences where RR would have been redundant. Way to go, GV!

Strangely, Dhanush's bird sightings give a doctored feel. Intelligently weeding out protractors, every scene of ME is purposeful. Kola Bhaskar is the editor.

This story with an ample dose of sentiment is at times laced with melodrama, yet both its soft and rough edges appeal. The gentleness in the climax impacts and so does the poetic flourish of the final moments.

Selvaraghavan knows where his potential lies and has tapped it suitably.

Mayakkam Enna

Genre: Romance

Director: Selvaraghavan

Cast: Dhanush, Richa

Storyline: The story of an up and coming photographer who scales odds with his wife’s support.

Bottomline: Selva’s love mantra sells

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