Cast: Satya, Nasser, Anjali, Anita, Karunas, Saranya Ponvannan, MS Viswanathan
The generation gap and the resulting conflict get a light hearted breezy treatment from director Manoharan in ‘Maharaja’. Satya (of ‘Nellu’) gets to play a solo hero in this movie. He has a pleasant screen presence and the potential to rise up the starry ladder. But it’s Nasser that the script banks heavily on to pull the movie through. The veteran actor gets equal if not more footage here.
As Mahadevan, who tries to ape the younger generation and gets caught in the mess of his own making, Nasser seems to relish every moment of his act, and plays the character to the hilt.
Mahadevan is bored with the monotony of his middle class existence, his routine government job, a homely wife and a grown-up son. He tries to add some colour to his life. Aping the younger generation, he tries to be one of them, only to be ridiculed and ribbed by his younger neighbours.
His life takes a turn when his nephew Aravind (Satya) comes from abroad on his new posting as the head of a multinational company. Aravind’s flirting ways and carefree lifestyle is a further impetus to Mahadevan. Satya and Nasser share good screen chemistry. Nasser’s over-the-top act and flamboyance, as he gets a total makeover from Aravind, is a delight to watch.
Aravind falls for his colleague Priya (Anjali) and starts mending his Casanova ways. While Mahadevan, forgetting his marital status, manages to find a girlfriend Maya (Anita). He gets deeper into the rut as Maya becomes more demanding and aggressive. The diverse paths the lives of the two men take, is brought out engagingly by the director.
Anjali, confined to homely characters in earlier films, gets to play a ‘hep’ girl here. There is not much scope for a performance, but the actress looks good in some fashionable dresses. One wishes her make-up and hair style too was given similar attention. Karunas, as Satya’s friend, peps up the proceedings.
Mildly engaging, the film however is more like a stage play in its structure and feel. The director could have tried to make his presentation slicker and visually more contemporary and exciting. But his attempt to move away from the routine formula plot and offer a slightly different fare to the audience is commendable.