Chennai, 03 Mar 2017 18:41 IST
Mupparimanam has an interesting point to make, if only you have the patience to wait and watch.
Imagine being served reasonably good food when you are famished. Imagine, further, that just as you are about to be satiated, delicacies of the finest quality are placed before you. Your state of mind at that point can’t be very different from the state of mind of a viewer who has just watched Mupparimanam.
First-time director Adhiroopan’s story begins on a very slow note and crawls at snail’s pace. The first half is so slow that by the time there is an intermission, one has almost given up any hope of the film becoming an entertainer.
However, hold your horses, for the experience the second half of this film has in store is very different. The story moves at a much faster pace in the second half with several interesting twists. In fact, it actually finishes with a flourish, leaving you reasonably satisfied.
Adhiroopan, who is from director Bala’s school, has an interesting tale to tell. It is about Kathir (Shanthnu Baghyaraj) and Anusha (Srushti Dange). Both are childhood friends and, at one point, as expected, fall in love. Their families are opposed to them marrying and the two decide to elope. At this point, one begins to get the impression that this will be another run-of-the-mill love story. But there is a twist in the tale, a twist so profound that it makes you sit up and take interest in a plot that, until then, is mundane.
Slowly we discover the presence of another character, played well by Skanda Ashok. How the equation between the lovers changes on his arrival and what happens after that is what makes the film interesting.
To his credit, Shanthnu has done an exceedingly good job in the film. In easily one of his best performances, Shanthnu proves that he has immense potential if used well by a good director.
Dange’s willingness to experiment by agreeing to play such a bold character needs to be lauded. However, her performance as Anusha in the first half isn’t entirely convincing. In her eagerness to perform well, the actress seems to have occasionally overcompensated. Subtlety isn’t one of her strengths and that shows in this performance.
Two of the film’s biggest strengths are the music of GV Prakash and the breathtakingly beautiful camerawork of Rasamathi. Two of the songs are so soulful that they have a lasting impact on the viewer. The same can be said of the film’s background score.
Rasamathi offers viewers a visual treat. His lighting sense, placement of shots and presentation leave one craving for more.
Editor Vivek Harshan must take a portion of the blame for the boredom that sets in during the first half. Tighter editing could have made the film a much better entertainer. Several scenes that are presented in the second half are those that have already been presented in the first. That certain scenes have to be repeated for the sake of flashback and for explaining the story in detail is understandable, but these instances could have been minimized.
Adhiroopan knows his craft well and comes across as a promising director. What he ought to have paid a little more attention to is his cast. While Shanthnu is perfect as the hero, Dange is not. The same goes for Appukutty who is presented to the viewers as Shanthnu character’s friend. Appukutty looks a lot older than Shanthnu, making it hard for viewers to buy the theory that they are friends.
On the whole, Mupparimanam has an interesting point to make, if you only have the patience to wait and watch.