Maamannan: Fahadh Faasil & the Rathnavelu conundrum

PUBLISHED DATE : 01/Aug/2023

Maamannan: Fahadh Faasil & the Rathnavelu conundrum

Mari Selvaraj directed Maamannan starring Vadivelu, Udhayanidhi Stalin, Fahadh Faasil, Keerthy Suresh, Lal, Raveena Ravi among others, is a political thriller that released in theaters on June 29, 2023. The movie with AR Rahman for music made its OTT premiere on Netflix on July 27, 2023.


Maamannan is about how the titular character belonging to an oppressed caste makes it big in politics, despite facing continuous social injustices and unfathomable social segregation. Director Mari Selvaraj is said to have based Vadivelu's character Maamannan on real life Tamil Nadu politician P. Dhanapal. 


Malayalam film actor Fahadh Faasil who is known to be an acting-ace plays the role of a dominant caste politician/villain in Maamannan. At one point in the movie, Fahadh Faasil's ruthless-bigot Rathnavelu character is shown trying to rally the support of all dominant castes against Maamannan. To an extent, this has become an ironical reality for the movie Maamannan post its digital premiere, on the Netflix streaming platform.


Not only is social media found romanticizing Fahadh Faasil as Rathnavelu, people from several dominant castes are seen trying to claim the character as "theirs". 'Rathnavelu edits' has become a social media phenomenon, with caste-based songs serving as the BGM. [Once again ironically, director Mari Selvaraj is against such unintended consequences given he famously wrote a letter to actor Kamal Haasan over the unintended consequences of  the 1992 hit movie Thevar Magan, and spoke about it at the Maamannan audio launch]. 



The conundrum of director Mari Selvaraj's plot getting lost on social media has elicited both sarcastic and humorous tweets from those fed-up with the situation.  


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