Director: PG Muthaiah
Cast: Shanmuga Pandian, Samuthirakani, Meenakshi, Vela Ramamurthy
PG Muthaiah who enthralled us with his cinematography in films like Poo, Kanden Kadhalai and the recent Mannar Vahaiyara makes his directorial venture with the rural action entertainer Madura Veeran. With Jallikattu as its core theme and second venture of Vijayakanth’s son Shanmuga Pandian, Muthaiah has woven a story of caste-based politics, which still prevails in southern parts of the state.
Durai (Shanmuga Pandian) returns to his native in Madurai from Malaysia after 20 years in the pretext of marrying a girl from his village. But he has other plans in mind: to find out his dad Rathinavel’s (Samuthirakani) murderer and to conduct the valorous sport of Jallikattu, which has been stopped for many years. Slain Rathinam was a revered leader in the area who always strived to unite the two rival communities, the upper caste bull owner and bigwig Gurumurthy (Vela Ramamurthy) and the lower caste headed by Malaisami (Mime Gopi). Then there’s Durai’s uncle (Marimuthu) whose daughter (debutant Meenakshi) is fond of her ‘murai paiyan’. How Durai succeeds in his mission forms the rest with a mild twist revealed towards the end.
Shanmuga Pandian’s tall stature helps him shine in action sequences but he needs to hone his acting skills. In fact, Muthaiah has portrayed him in a subtle manner and every actor in the film has his/her fair share of screen space. Meenakshi is just about adequate and it is Samuthirakani who steals the show with his power-packed performance, although he appears only in flashback scenes. All others Vela Ramamurthy, Marimuthu, Thenappan (in a role with negative shades), and Mimes Gopi do their part well.
A major plus is that Muthaiah has projected the scenario in a realistic manner sans commercial trappings. Also, the Jallikattu sequences and the politics behind the sport have been captured earnestly. But, the story meanders in the second half and the pace also suffers. Muthaiah, who has doubled up as the cinematographer of MV and he has done a commendable job by providing splendid visuals. Santhosh Dayanidhi’s music is catchy with its rustic and earthy nature and goes well with the mood of the film.
It is an honest attempt that can be enjoyed in parts.