Magamuni is high on performances and content!
Director Santhakumar, who made Mouna Guru makes a comeback with the Arya starring Magamuni. From the teaser and trailer, it seemed like the team had aimed at making a content oriented, rooted film that is held together by some impactful performances. Does Magamuni have the grip on its audiences? Read further to find out what the film offers.
Arya plays Maga and Muni, a double act. Both these characters, though living in similar conditions, have drastically different lifestyles and mannerisms. Be it their family, what they do for a living or even their body language, you can call them chalk and cheese. Actress Indhuja plays Maga’s wife while Mahima Nambiar is seen as Muni’s love interest. The film’s story starts off in a jail where the protagonist is seen in a cell. From there on, the entire film is a flashback of their lives and how the characters transform over time and when put under different circumstances. The film is a trackback to the past and a small cut to the present.
The performances are the best part about Magamuni. Arya shines as both Maga and Muni and he is well supported by stunning performances by Indhuja and Illavarasu. Even Mahima does well with her part and it is safe to say that every small character including Gopal, Illavarasu’s right hand is well established due to the strong characterizations. Kudos to director Santhakumar for efficiently churning out these performances. In fact, a large part of the film’s impact heavily rests on the acting and all the actors have done well. After director Bala’s Naan Kadavul, this could be termed Arya’s career-best act.
Director Santhakumar weaves in subtle philosophies and naturally placed irony-driven humour scenes here and there. But what is to be noted is the lack of entertainment for the general audiences. With a run-time of around 157 minutes, there are no commercial elements added. This does save the core of the film. However, the engagement in the content-driven scenes may be a little low for the audiences who are used to fast-paced thrillers. Magamuni is slow and naturally captured with elements that would thrill you if you are ready to accept its mood. The dialogues are praiseworthy as there seems to be a lot of work put into the writing. Technically, this is a sound picture. Cinematography by Arun Bathmanaban is tailor-made for this script. The low natural light setup, realistic fight scenes, and an overall dull tone have all come good. Edit by VJ Sabu Joseph is neat and the music by SS Thaman, especially the background score is very refined. It elevates some intense scenes and makes Magamuni more gripping.
Some of the mention-worthy scenes include the classroom scene that has Arya addressing students about the caste system, a particular shot inside a well, a couple of unexpected twists in the latter half and most of the scenes involving Arya and Indhuja. In fact, the actors have all lived their roles and this has helped the makers to hold the attention of audiences who enjoy good acting. A little concern could be the run-time as the modern-day scenario in filmmaking seems to demand a slightly crisper approach.
Having said so much about Magamuni, the climax is a steal. It does not preach at all and lets you accept the fate of the characters. What happens to them with the course of time and how they deal with tough situations has been well dealt with. There are small portions that have images from the disturbing childhood that both Maga and Muni face and this part could have had a little more attention. Overall, Arya and Santhakumar’s Magamuni is a good watch with barely any unwanted sequences that would keep film fans and content-oriented cinema lovers hooked. For those expecting popcorn entertainment, this may not be your type of film but still, you would consider it a very watchable experience for its performances and gripping storyline.
Bottomline: A slow yet intense drama, that is held together by some fabulous acting and sharp dialogues!