A subtle performance by this year's National Award winner Prakash Raj and good music by Ilaiyaraaja should have worked wonders for Madhiya Chennai, directed by Vivekanandh-Veerasingam. But what stands in the way of making the film an entertainer is the not-so-arresting screenplay.

Saravanan, an associate of a popular film director, wants to make it big in the industry, and is waiting to meet a good producer. Meanwhile, a scheming Badrinath (Mahadevan) acquires the property on which stands the humble houses of Saravanan and his friends, without paying them a penny. When they approach Badri, he demands Rs. 10 crore in six months' time if they want their land back. Saravanan accepts the challenge. How he manages to raise funds forms the rest of the plot.

Jayavanth, the hero, has a long way to go as far as acting and dialogue delivery are concerned. Ramya Farna, the heroine, is beautiful but has nothing much to do in the film. Prakash Raj, as the film director with no shades of grey, gives a restrained performance. Mahadevan scores as the villain, while Charlie as Chokan has proved that he's capable of more than just comedy. Ganja Karuppu as Madurai succeeds in evoking a few laughs. Shanmugarajan as Mahadevan's deputy is adequate.

The music enhances the film, especially the background score. The songs ring in your ears even after you leave the hall. The dialogues are powerful. Karthik Raja's camera work is commendable. You can't help but wonder why editor D.S.R. Subash has not scissored some of the unwanted scenes.