Makkal Selvan Vijay's Sethupathi had a release as a producer a month back with the comic caper Junga, but it wasn't his maiden production venture, as he had started Merku Thodarchi Malai years back, and now, the critically acclaimed flick which has bagged numerous awards in events and film festivals all over the world, has hit screens. Here's team AP Herald's exclusive first on net Merku Thodarchi Malai review.
Merku Thodarchi Malai is all about the plantation workers of the Western Ghats, the situations they face in their lives, portrayed realistically sans cinematic colors, and a well-researched presentation of multiple unique characters and their situations, and how they approach it, portrayed in a raw, enjoyable and a completely immersive screenplay.
The artists of the movie are mostly residents of the western ghats, and hence they are perfect for the environment and look fit for the characters they portray. The artists including Antony, Gayathri, master Smith and Abu, besides all the other residents of the Western Ghats who have acted in the movie have actually lived their roles and have not acted.
Isaignani Ilayaraja's background score is soothing, and at places, his silence and rerecording haunt the audience with his sounds adding to the depth of the sequences and the plight of the plantation workers. Cinematography by Theni Eswar is top notch and captures the locales and the lives of western ghats to perfection. Mu Kasi Viswanathan's taut editing makes sure Merku Thodarchi Malai doesn't have a dull moment.
Lenin Bharathi has made an unconventional debut to Tamil film industry, and he has been perfectly backed by Vijay Sethupathi, who as a producer has given the maker complete creative freedom, letting him explore and present the lives of people of western ghats in a raw and rustic manner.
Lenin's characterizations and scenes, clearly prove the enormous research that the director must have made to frame the screenplay, and despite the dull premise, the director makes sure Merku Thodarchi Malai gives the audience a pleasant stay with its mild humor that is not forced, besides the screenplay that keeps flowing without drags.
Lenin Bharathi does a commendable job presenting the lives and situations faced by Western Ghats plantation workers, and he deserves a pat for his perfect debut which is entertaining and realistic. With soulful music, top-notch visuals captured, Merku Thodarchi Malai is a neat arthouse flick that has its fair share of entertainment and deserves a watch.