The combo of actor Shanmuga Pandian and director PG Muthiah strikes with a rural-based action entertainer with Maduraveeran that talks about a village, unity amongst its people, and Jallikattu in length. For a film like this revolving around an emotion, which moved our audiences in the past, a good plot backed up with neat performances is elementary to make the very emotions come across as a natural.
Maduraveeran has a school of good actors like Samuthirakani, Vela Ramamoorthy, Mime Gopi, G Marimuthu, PL Thenappan and Bala Saravanan, who bring out the apt performances required for this sort of a film. Samuthirakani pulls off an extraordinary performance – his flashback portion is something to watch out for. The other actors perform their roles well too. Bala Saravanan provides the much-needed comic relief at regular intervals. Playing the female lead, Meenakshi has little to do with respect to the main plot.
PG Muthiah, who doubles up as the cinematographer as well, has decided to keep it simple and has underplayed the character of his lead actor Shanmuga Pandian. This works well in the first half and it seems like the actor has done what he could with the scope extended to him.
However, in the latter half that demands a slightly more expressive performance and some crisp, action-packed emotion-based sequences, Shanmuga Pandian could have pushed up the ante and played his role slightly louder. Since the character has been underplayed throughout, the impact created by someone who carries the entire plot on his shoulders seems to be diluted.
A particular portion in the second half that requires a special mention is the one featuring the Jallikattu footage recorded during the epic protest that took place in Marina. But apart from just bringing back this emotion, there is also quite a lot to the plot, which makes the Jallikattu footage portion quite naturally placed. Maduraveeran also talks about how unity amongst villagers is essential and what it could bring them. It also touches upon the sensitive topic of casteism and how there shouldn’t be discrimination based on it. When these elements are topped with the Jallikattu emotion placed in a good plot, you get Maduraveeran.
As for the technical aspects, a few aerial shots are tacky. However, credits have to be given to the director for a smart selection of shots that show his maturity. Music by Santhosh Dhayanidhi is decent and so is the edit by Praveen KL.
The last 45 minutes of the film have a lot to reveal, with the twists coming in as a surprise for a majority of the audiences. This definitely is a high point in the film and the best part about this portion is that all the characters seem to have a genuine motive from their point of view that heads the story in an interesting direction. The screenplay has been sketched out pretty well.
On the whole, Maduraveeran has enough elements that would both inform as well as entertain audiences with its sensible plot backed up by decent performances. Besides certain humour sequences that reduce the seriousness of a few scenes and a less-than-impactful performance from the lead cast, Maduraveeran is a neat rural entertainer that is worth a watch for its interesting line, and the Jallikattu emotion.
Verdict: A worthy watch for its sensible, well-executed plot topped with the ‘bring back’ emotion of Jallikattu in the right dosage!