Director: NTG Saravanan
Cast: Ramarajan, Kaushika, Vadivelu, Haasini
After a sabbatical for over a decade, Ramarajan returns to the screen with Medhai, his 44th film. Known for his affinity for simple rustic characters, he was the toast of film makers whose plots were rural based. Comfortable playing roles like that of a cowherd who regaled the cows with his songs as he milked them ('Enga Ooru Paattukkaran'), or a folk dancer as in the record breaking 'Karagattakaran', his characters never failed to mouth platitudes and simple home truths.
There’s not much difference between the Ramarajan then and the Ramarajan now, except that he’s put on a few kilos of weight, and thankfully given up his bright lipstick and make-up for a more natural tone.
Also, after the initial scenes of his usual white dhoti-shirt attire, he sports a pair of blue jeans for most part of the film. A trifle self-conscious in it, he even takes a light -hearted dig at himself.
Ramarajan plays Saravana, a model school teacher in a suburban town. As the film opens, we see him in jail, wrongly convicted for embezzling funds from a Public Trust he had set up for under privileged students who couldn’t afford to pay their school fees. After receiving the Best Teacher award, and released from jail later, the man goes into flashback mode. We get to learn of his good deeds and of his integrity, his effort in setting up the Trust, and his fight against child labour.
Also, of the girl who became his wife, and his guts and honesty which earned him the wrath of a few influential and corrupt men. Out of jail, there are a few surprises in store for Saravana, as he learns about the conspiracy that had sent him to jail. He sets out to take on, or rather reform the baddies.
Debutant director Saravanan (apprenticed with Senthilnathan and Hari), has kept his narrative simple, and made some effort to infuse his script with socially relevant issues. His protagonist is an ideal teacher and a socially conscious citizen to be emulated. The director has written the character to suit Ramarajan’s style, and given him sufficient image boosting scenes and punch lines. The film is neither too exciting, nor a great disappointment. Only, the whole feel is that of a decades old film.