Cast: Vijayakanth, Meena, Meera Jasmine
Storyline: The bonding between an understanding father and a son which remains steadfast despite odds.
Bottomline: Another Vikraman fare for the family.
The Vijayakanth-Vikraman duo that gave the super hit family drama ‘Vaanathai Pola’ a few years ago is back with another such film, ‘Mariyaadhai’ (U). Writer-director Vikraman never resorts to item numbers and double entendres in the name of comedy in his films. The pattern continues in ‘Mariyaadhai,’ the maker coming out with a neat product that includes a message. The film has no unwarranted twists and the linear narration moves on without ado.
Like in ‘Vaanathai Pola,’ Vijayakanth plays a dual role. Here it is that of father and son. As Annamalai, the sedate, understanding father, Vijayakanth impresses you more. Son Raja’s role is the predictable kind.
Annamalai believes that trusting the son and giving him enough leeway in life would help him grow into a person with values and that it would make the father-son relationship healthy. His friend, Muthiah (‘Thalaivaasal’ Vijay), on the other hand, feels that being strict is the only way to bring up a child as a successful human being. As expected, Muthiah is proved wrong. Though Raja’s credulous nature causes much monetary loss to the family, his father doesn’t lose his cool. Instead he only looks out for positive ways to redress matters.
As in all Vikraman films the bad men (Shanmugarajan and Sampath) aren’t consummate villains and so they don’t go overboard in their treachery. It would have been better if Vikraman had done away with the duet sequences, which are nothing but hindrances in the narration. Also avoidable gaffes make even serious scenes comical.
‘Mariyaadhai’ is a comeback vehicle for Meena, though her role has negative shades. And if she wishes to concentrate on the big screen, keeping herself fighting fit is imperative. Meera Jasmine the other girl in Raja’s life is bubbly. She looks young and ravishing in trousers and jeans. The same cannot be said of the dance sequences where she sports saris.
The song, ‘Unnai Ninaithaen’ has subdued footwork by the lead pair — but less said the better about the jerks in the name of dance for the next duet. And why do all filmmakers insist on having a third song sequence for the lovers? Udit Narayan singing an MGR refrain in remix mode for Vijayakanth is absolutely comical. Just as you begin to think that Vijayakanth’s costume in ‘Mariyaadhai’ is far better than in his earlier films, he bounces back with dark pink and blue blazers for a jig!
All these years you thought S.A. Rajkumar was repeating his tunes, particularly in Vikraman’s films. But ‘Mariyaadhai’ is a revelation. Vikraman makes Vijay Antony’s numbers also sound like Rajkumar’s. Even the re-recording at many places is bafflingly similar.
Director Vikraman deserves to be lauded for making a Vijayakanth film with no political innuendos, and without deifying the hero. (The little lionising that occurs in passing can be overlooked.) And this, even though the film has been released when the State is gripped with election fever!MALATHI RANGARAJAN