Review – Maha Nadigan

Rating : 8.25/10
Genre : Social/Comedy
Starring : Sathyaraj, Namitha, Mumtaz
Director: Shakti Chidambaram

After Kamal’s ‘Indian‘ and Vijaykanth’s ‘Ramana,’ one wondered who it was who would throw in their penny’s worth into the arena of socially relevant movies. But unlike the aforementioned, and definitely better than insipid productions like ‘4 the People‘ and ‘Ay!’- and to a certain extent, Mani Ratnam’s ‘Yuva‘ – ‘Maha Nadigan‘ is a satire on not merely the villains of the society but also on the so-called victims – us – who keep voting them back to power.The movie starts with a Telgi-like scam indicting the CM (who slightly resembles SM Krishna) paving the way for his right-hand man to come to power. Of course, as one would expect, the replacement is no better than the other. In fact, as the first murder shows, he is only too ambitious.
Enter an aspiring actor who manages to trick his way into his first movie, and then into making his movie into a huge success. And as much as you’d hate to admit it, his Machiavellian moves do turn him into an overnight hero – just as in real life. The sight of Rameshkanna cycling along the roads remising of a life that was and could have been, a la Charan in ‘Autograph,’ is a neat touch of humour.
Of course, any movie needs a heroine. MN goes one better – it has two heroines. Mumtaz and Namitha lack any substance whatsoever in the roles they play, but it is nice to note that the usual practice of discarding item girls after their item song is the one that has been discarded in this movie. All said and done, however, they merely serve as a sounding board for Sathyaraj’s playback.
Which is, for once, not merely about revenge for a slain father, a disgraced sister or a deceased friend. Even that part of the storyline, set in the backdrop of Tamil Nadu’s famous and fanatical fans, is plausible enough not to stick out like a sore thumb. For those who might wish to object, can anyone please tell me why the two ‘doyens’ of the state’s political families are both connected to the film industry, why they alone reign over all their lesser parts, why they draw bigger crowds?
The songs are less than mediocre – you won’t miss anything even if you mute/skip the entire sequence – while the fight scenes resemble Mahabharata’s Bhiman tearing apart Jarasandhan, once again another element that can’t be missed for all the wrong reasons. Thankfully, however, there being only three irrelevant songs and one ill-choreographed fight, the Forward button on the remote is in little danger of being worn out.
I started watching this movie wondering if this movie would even touch 7 on my rating, and ended up giving it an 8.25. Perhaps some might find this movie a bit too ludicrous for their taste, but I was able to sit through the entire movie without having to yawn every two minutes.
Bottom line : This movie will definitely NOT win any awards – guaranteed. But if you want a tongue-in-cheek satire that is blissfully free of any partiality… this is it.