Director: C Kumaresan
Cast: C. K., Punnagaipoo Geetha, Shaila Nair, Rabbit Mac, Sheezay
A team of enthusiastic Malaysian Tamils team together for a Tamil film. The plot set and shot entirely in Malaysia, is co-produced and directed by C.K., a Malaysian Tamil, who also plays the lead role of Dev here. A popular face on Tamil serials and Tamil films produced in Malaysia, it’s C.K.’s first directorial feature film.
A failed love affair, drifting (a kind of motor racing) and child trafficking forms part of the screenplay. After a tragic love affair, Dev (C.K.), hits the bottle. Engaged in illegal drifting, his encounter with Arun who had escaped from the clutches of child traffickers, gives his life a new direction. He makes it his mission to rescue the rest of the kids from the shelter home and expose the real face of ‘Appa’, its smooth talking caretaker. But between the main theme and its finale, there are a lot of distractions. It’s a slug fest between Dev and Gayathri (Geetha ) when they encounter each other. These scenes provide some amusing moments. Dev has his past to relate, about his love affair with teacher Shalini (Shaila). And of how his life had taken a turn when on her persuasion, he had decided to give up illegal racing and take up a regular job.
C.K. has a pleasant screen presence and plays Dev with style and attitude. The songs are pleasant to hear and well picturised. The ‘Masuk....’ number, the pick of the lot, is peppy with some catchy lyrics. But the screenplay is weak and inconsistent. A serious issue like child trafficking has been treated with flippancy. Comedy pops up at serious moments. The kingpin of the racket is shown in flashes with curly hair and a menacing voice. But when he finally appears for the final face-off, he turns out to be more of a joker with his maniacal over-the-top performance. The narration drags for long even after the issues have been resolved. A flashback at this point makes a character remark, ‘A flashback… not at this moment!’. The director should have taken her words seriously!
The influence of formula-based Indian Tamil films is evident throughout. Maindhan at the most is a promising effort from a debutant maker. Hopefully his next venture would have a more coherent and a focused screenplay.