Madura Veeran Review - A 'not bad' film that plays within its limitations
The crux of Madura Veeran is typical of any film that wants to laid a foundation for its hero who is a star son. It is about him coming back to his roots and solving the challenges to see his people happy, something that his father had been doing during his hey days. Whether you like it or not, such films where everything is laid out for the hero might always be in vogue. Madura Veeran follows suit but to its credit it keeps everything subtle and the absolute absence of loudness is a pleasant surprise.
The first half of the film is actually pretty good and the drama though not arresting is adequately engaging. The supporting cast is good and Samuthirakani does leave an impact with his presence.With respect to Shanmuga Pandian, the stiffness is very apparent. The gigantic frame is the exact opposite to the way he emotes which comes across as being reluctant. While this could have played a huge spoilsport, P.G. Muthiah tries to keep the impact minimal by not having the entire focus on the hero. The jallikattu scenes give a 'watching it live' feel. The casting is good and the face-cut of the kid who plays the younger version of Shanmuga Pandian is an example that some thought has definitely gone into this area. You sort of understand this isn't a lazy film and the smartness of the director comes across in the way he has tried to play with his limited resources.
The second half sort of gets diluted and the tension that was supposed to be there to find the killer of Samuthirakani is absent. The idea to use last year's jallikattu protests as a part of the screenplay produces mixed results. The good thing is that it does not come across as extremely manipulative. The film does employ the standard tactics to try and cater its hero to the masses. There is this old lady who says that he looks like 'Karuppu MGR', the hero speaks a long dialogue listing the breeds of cow akin to his father in Ramana and then there is this clipping of Vijay speaking on the Jallikattu issue. Somehow none of this seems on your face as I actually expected more hero worship given the history of such films. The big reveal in the climax makes very little impact and is pushed aside in a jiffy.
Madura Veeran might not be a convicning film. But the very fact that it is aware of its flaws and plays those down smartly could be a valid indicator of the potential of P.G.Muthiah.