This realism is very enduring
By Malini Mannath | Express Features | Published: 23rd November 2013 12:01 PM |
Film - Meiazhagi
Director - R.T. Jayavel
Cast - Balaji, Jaiqueheni, Arjun, Arunmozhi Varman, Jenny Jasmine, Ramraj, Velumurugan.
Set in a rural milieu, the plot revolves around the deep bonding between Meiazhagi and her mentally challenged younger brother Deva. A simple storyline, it’s neatly narrated with the scenes flowing smoothly. The director makes a sincere effort in infusing freshness into a plot that is reminiscent of films like 16 Vayathinile. The fact that the actors are freshers or little known faces works to the film’s advantage, lending conviction and a realism to the scenes.
The early part depicts the bonding between the siblings. Motherless, left with an alcoholic and opportunistic father to boot, Meiazhagi ekes out a living selling plantain leaves for functions, and working in the fields of the village bigwig (Varman). Deva, the butt of ridicule and taunts, reveals his violent streak, particularly when his sister’s name is bandied about.
Meiazhagi’s condition that her brother will stay with her after her marriage puts off many a prospective groom. The trust and understanding between the siblings is brought out well. Coveted by the bigwig, she rejects his overtures. The wily man playing on the superstitious beliefs of his trusting wife (Jenny, sister of Meera Jasmine), hatches a plan to marry her. Even as Meiazhagi attempts to escape his trap, the turn of events causes havoc in the lives of all.
The director has shot the scenes against aesthetic backdrops. Balaji perfectly cast, essays Deva with understanding and consistency. Drooling constantly, his entire body language and demeanour make the character come to life. Jaiqueheni is apt as Meiazhagi. She reflects the entire gamut of emotions of a woman dignified in her poverty and striving to make an honest living.
Varman is subtle and cool as the villain of the piece. The latter part has moments that slacken the pace. Velmurugan’s comic-track is not particularly engaging. There is this moment when to flatter the bigwig remarks, ‘Girls these days seem to prefer married men rather than eligible bachelors’, the camera cheekily zooms in on an actress on a cinema poster on the wall. There are the songs that intrude. The director goes in the retro mode, making his heroine do a dramatic old-style song-dance before the goddess. The final twist is a clever piece, unpredictable and appreciable.
The Verdict: It may not be the greatest of scripts going. But it doesn’t bore one, and has its good moments.