Saturday, November 26, 2011

Mayakkam Enna: Binds the Viewer in a Trance

Mayakkam Enna, a captivating love story

Bolstered by sterling performances by actors Dhanush and Richa Gangopadhyay, Mayakkam Enna (What’s the dizziness) – a romantic drama directed by Dhanush’s brother Selvaragavan – is a movie that comes out with flying colours on all counts.

Mayakkam...’s biggest pluses are its ability to sustain the viewer’s interest well into the second half (although it does get a bit predictable by then) a pellucid first-half and a background score by G V Prakash Kumar that gels with the movie. The story is woven so expertly that you would forgiven for being lulled into thinking that this is not your usual, hard-hitting movie that Selvaragavan so specialises in, when, bang... a string of surprises bombard the viewer.


Wielding the lens is becoming the wannabe profession of Kollywood’s heroes, amply demonstrated by Jeeva in Ko. So does Karthik (Dhanush), an orphan and a freelance wildlife photographer who dreams of making it big in National Geographic or Discovery channel – thereby satisfying the director’s first thumb rule that the hero ought to be the underdog. Hence, unleashed upon us is a motley of images similar to the one that appears during the title credits of Ko. Yamini (Richa), an ad executive, is the girlfriend of Sunder, one of Karthik’s friends. The two share the coldest of vibes when they meet the first time (a la 7/G rainbow colony); they meet again, and again, and she falls in love with him, juxtaposing Karthik in a difficult situation. He yields eventually and the two get married, and it is here that a twist is introduced, which when given away in this column would amount to the biggest travesty of all time!

The dialogues are powerful, loaded with humour, sarcasm and emotion. Sample this: Karthik when slapped by Yamini for a caustic remark tells his friend that the chicken in his biryani seems to be rather stale; when, later, one of Karthik’s friends makes an indecent proposal to Yamini, she suggests that he look for a wife and not that of someone else. Scenes such as a pregnant Yamini cleaning the floor where she had almost bled to death, are, err hard-hitting to say the least.

It is true that Dhanush has always reserved his best for his brother’s movies, but it is hard to ignore how much he has matured as an actor. By oozing expressions with ease, he is the bedrock for the movie. The surprise package of the movie, however, has to be Richa’s performance, not to mention Sunder Ramu’s supporting role.

This does not mean that the movie is without its share of aberrations. With the first half sweeping viewers of their feet with its brilliance, the second half, in comparison, seems a tad inferior. The train of sequences where one of Karthik’s photographs gets noticed everywhere seems so contrived and protracted, that the viewer may be willing to bet he had seen it coming a mile ago.

Go ahead, watch it. Mayakkam Enna is a movie you would not mind spending your money on.

by Rajagopalan Venkataraman