Script Lacks the Selvaraghavan Trademark

Published: 11th January 2016 06:32 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th January 2016 06:32 AM   |  A+A-

MAALAI

Among the New Year releases, this was the film expected with anticipation. While it is debutante Geethanjali who the director, the script is penned by her husband ace director Selvaraghavan. The director’s male protagonists have never failed to interest, they being exceptions rather than the rule. His scripts would be about how humans cope with their complexed natures and the repercussion it has on their dear ones. But this time Selvaraghavan disappoints. Though the characters are similar to his earlier films, what is missing is sensitivity and conviction that are his trademark.

Superficially etched, his protagonist Prabhu’s complexities seem artificial. Dismissing his erratic behaviour as that of a ‘psycho’ ( the word is used frequently in the film) is an easy way out. If he indeed was one, then one wonders why neither his affluent educated parents, nor his wife who is educated and independent, makes any effort to cure him. Neither the characters nor their situations strikes a chord. And in such a confusing scenario,To expect a debutante maker to make her mark is unreasonable.

The plot centres around an unlikely couple Prabhu and Manoja. A study in contrast, Prabhu is uncouth, lacks social niceties, and suffers from low self-esteem. His love affairs never really take off though he tries dating a few girls. Manoja is self confident, and knows to conduct herself socially..

But as one of her former boy- friends would remark to Prabhu later, ‘She may have dated a few, but never went the whole way’. In fact it was her disillusionment with her current boy- friend Tarun who was insisting on pre-marital sex, that led her to go in for an arranged marriage with Prabhu.

Trying to blend the traditional and the modern, the script gets confused here. A Mouna Ragam type scenario follows with Manoja rudely brushing away Prabhu’s advances and his right to consummate the marriage. Selva’s scripts have violence in love. And here too it finds place, both in the behaviour of Prabhu and of Tarun. The issue of marital rape is brought in here. Inconsistency marks Prabhu’s character. Prabhu mouths lines like ‘eating the left overs’, ‘I’ve saved it all for my wife’ etc. and is depicted as a social zero.

Debutants Balakrishna (son of editor Kola Bhaskar, the film’s producer) and Wamiqa are actors with potential. Hopefully we would see it manifested in their next venture. The songs forced in arbitrarily, seem out of place in a scenario such as this. Probably the weakest of Selvaraghavan’s scripts, ‘Maalai Nerathu Maykam’ is neither introspective nor entertaining. It is at the most a stepping stone for a debutante director.

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