What happens when a dad directs his son with the sole aim of promoting him? We have seen the results of such efforts all too often. Projecting the son as the next biggest thing in Tamil cinema! Markandeyan is another film made with this objective. So, does it go down the expected road of offspring glorification or is there something different?
Unfortunately, the answer to the above question is a big and emphatic NO. We have seen what happens to cinema when a stunt master tries to launch his son as an action hero. There will be loads and loads of acrobatic and violent stunts which are made with the sole purpose of leaving the audience spellbound and clapping for the hero. Remember what happened when Jaguar Thangam launched his son through Suryaa. Something similar, though not as bad, is seen here. The film is built on a wafer thin plot of a gangster adopting a boy (Sabarish), from the streets, a rivalry that crops up between the real son of the gangster and the boy who is by now the most promising member of the gang; in line to become the next chief hooligan. A romantic track is thrown in and the gangster’s son is brought into the picture because of his rather lurid sexual tastes. A very well hatched plot is executed by the gangster to diffuse a situation which could see his son getting bashed up and killed up by his trusted lieutenant. The plot goes according to plan, but then backfires as Sabarish sees through it. This is in fact the only point of intelligence and interest in the entire movie.
The rest of it is just a cocktail of punches, flying kicks and gunfights. OK, the action is good. But, what good is an action scene when the central plot is not able to adequately justify it or build any kind of sympathy for the characters. How different does it get from watching a video game were one man keeps walking up and down killing everyone who appears in front of him? Really, it is the lack of a coherent and well planned script that spells doom for Markandeyan. The director, for all his experience in cinema, has tried to build an awe inspiring building without getting the foundation right. Result, a collapse! The fundamentals of film making have been overlooked in lieu of some spirited action. Now, action is hardly a substitute for a substantial plot.
There is nothing much to talk about in the performance section because it is all about Sabarish and his skills. Others are just there as fillers. The debutante does what is required to make us believe that he can do well if given the right script. He fights hard, dances with enthusiasm and emotes in a way that is not too bad for a novice. For those of you who thought that Santhanam’s presence can liven up any film, this is an antithesis. He fails to make us smile. But, surprisingly, where Santhanam failed, M.S. Bhaskar scores, bringing out some of the funniest moments of the movie. That just about sums up the positives of the film!
Technically, there is not much that deserves mention except for the effort of the crew to make the action sequences. It is a neatly done job. Music by Sundar C Babu is a bit of a let down, there is not much that gets you hooked.
Overall, Markandeyan is a typical dad’s gift to his son. Looks like the director lost objectivity of vision in his bid to promote his son as a talented hero. Talented as he may be, the script plays the villain, even more menacing than the one that they managed to put into the movie and pulls it down altogether. It might be worth remembering that even the most talented of actors need a solid script behind them to produce a hit.
Verdict: Action and only action and nothing else!