Magalir Mattum Review - A Wo(men) Centric Road Trip Drama
Often, movies that are “women-centric”, “family-centric”, “mass-centric”, “some-xyz-centric” are purely based on a formula that is tried, tested and succeeded. What makes a movie stand out of this formula-cliché is the execution. With this being Jyotika’s second movie after her comeback in 2015, does Magalir Mattum break the cliché or make justice to the 2-year gap of Jo?
A pretty straight forward plot that shows the reunion of three mischievous and closely-knitted high-school friends after 38 long years. And this reunion, obviously, happens through Prabha, a documentary film maker who is also the to-be-daughter-in-law of one of the three friends.
How close were the trio? Why did they get separated? What happened in each of their lives then after? How did they get together? How did the 3-day reunion trip bring about a change in their lives?
The plot answers to each of these questions and lots more!
Treatment of the script & Engagement
The best thing about the movie is the equal importance and screen presence to each character sketched in the story line. The casting is so apt that no character seems unimportant in the movie. Though the movie predominantly revolves around women and the men who did not treat the women right, either by abusing or ignoring their emotions, the light thrown to the intricate details is one noteworthy factor.
How would you feel if three girls who belong to this generation (2017) were born 50 years back? They have the shrewdness, the intelligence, the audacity, the care, the dignity and the braveness that a girl of this age can easily develop and yet were pushed into the societal norms. The movie exactly shows what the society had filched from most of the women of our mothers’ generation.
The life of the trio – Goms (Urvashi), Subbu (Saranya) & Rani (BanuPriya) – is a depiction that many of our women would relate to and empathize with. And then comes Prabha (Jyotika) who is quirky, intelligent, brave and chases her dreams. She shows us that having a family will never be a hindrance to the career of our choice - all that a girl needs to do is to take the right step. She says it is better to be a little insensitive to the need of your immediate family. It is imperative to treat yourself important and not let yourself down in the process of raising a family. She says it is okay to be crazy, okay to put your foot down and stand up for what you feel is right. And the best part is, she doesn’t say it out loud. She shows. Jyotika gets zoomed out and all we get to see is Praba!
What really creates the impact is the flow of the movie. The first half is quite snail-paced and the back and forth flash back scenes just sets the mood for a normal, usual plot. The way how each of them connects doesn’t create an impact initially, but then slowly seeps through you. At the intermission, you feel the movie could have been paced better and that the movie is settling for something very mediocre. Yet another women-centric movie! But you are proved wrong once the second half kicks in. Totally.
Yes, it is still the same story, yet the execution! Be that the military official. Be that the small girl kid. Be that the son of Rani, Karthik (Pavan), his dialogue delivery and transformations. Be that the part played by Nasser and Livingston. Be the supporting male (Ambuli Gokul) in an oppressing rural family. The subtle connect between the downfall of one of the trio’s life and the love life of another one amongst the trio. Be that the cameo. Every element has a neat purpose and comes together as a beautiful arrangement at the end.
Technicalities & Direction
The technicalities are apt to the mood and plot of the movie. The cinematography sets the right tone to each of the character – Goms ( the green shade throughout, the freshness of the character and her innocence, her ideologies to accept a career woman as her daughter-in-law), Rani (The red shade throughout, that shows the subtle fierceness in her nature, the attitude to fight and yet succumbing to the reality), Subbu (I was expecting her name to start with “B” to symbolize blue, Anyway the calmness despite her life being so flat, the cool way of handling all that she undergoes, the tears when she breaks down) – Every lighting has been so apt and takes us everywhere along with the plot.
The music is another huge plus to the movie. Ghibran had already set the chartbusters on. The editing in the first half could have been better, but the second half justifies what happens in the first half.
From the director of award winning Kutram Kadidhal, we did expect a tinge of his previous work reflecting in Magalir Mattum, but the director makes us question if it is the same director, Bramma! So much variation & efforts into each character and the presentation. The movie is undoubtedly a neat execution which could have fallen flat on your face if there had been one wrong move.
The cinematic climax is a little cliched, but since it was anticipated, can comfortably settle with that.
A movie that says, not preaches, “live life for yourself as much as you live for others.”
Rating: 3.25 / 5