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by : Behindwoods review board
Gowthaman, Seeman, Prakash Raj, Anjali,
novels into movies has been quite a frequent
(not as much as we would like) practice
in the film industry. But, the most common
complaint that we come across with all
such efforts is that the soul of the book
was ultimately lost while translating
it onto screen. But, Magizhchi is one
effort that cannot be accused of
with the original feel of the book that it has adapted.
A screen version of acclaimed author Neelapathmanabhan’s
Thalaimuraikal, Magizhchi is set in the rural folds
of Tamil Nadu and tells the story of a family, focusing
primarily on the brother-sister relationship while
also spreading the attention of the viewer onto a
variety of socio-economic issues of villages.
siblings; the sister being the elder, share an almost
ideal relationship. Each other’s happiness means
the world to the other and it is shown in many instances
in the film that either of them would go to any lengths
to keep the other happy. They grow up and soon the
sister is wedded off with great hopes of having a
good and happy life. But, what happens is quite on the contrary. She is subject to intense domestic drudgery;
both physical and mental torture. At first we don’t
understand the reason behind her husband’s behavior
towards her; is it sheer male chauvinism or is there a more serious rift between them. That is what her
brother tries to find out. Not much to our surprise;
he finds out that his brother-in-law is being cruel
and unreasonable towards his sister and there is something
that he wants to be hidden from the society on the whole.
But, the brother is not ready to sit around and watch
his sister getting tortured and decides to put an
end to this marriage which is causing only grief to
everyone. But, his brother-n-law is not ready to give
in all that easily and the ugly caste issue threatens
to raise its head when a solution to all this seems
The first thing that we notice about Magizhchi is
the simplicity and natural charm that it possesses.
There has been absolutely no attempt to try and infuse
anything artificial or extraneous into the script
with the excuse of making it more ‘cinema friendly’.
It is an honest adaptation of the book. It is definitely
a throwback to the 80s kind of family drama with overbearing
husbands and brother-sister sentiment all playing
a part. But, if willing with an open mind; contemporary
appeal can be found in this movie. It shows that male
dominance and domestic violence are still a part of
the social fabric; especially in rural India. The
movie also highlights the economic backwardness of
the villages; especially in portions where the bride’s
father has to sell the land that he has tilled for
years to get his daughter married. His grief and helplessness
have been well portrayed. Also the fact that caste
is still a major issue in the minds of the rural population
is depicted in the movie; especially during the final
portions. One of the portions of the movie that attracts
most due to its novel and extremely simple narrative
styles is the one where the grandmother is narrating
an old fable to her grandchildren. The story is shown
to us on screen in the form of sketches by Trotsky
Marudhu. It is quite interesting to watch.
The director has managed to extract good performances
out of almost everybody in the cast. The experienced
hands like Prakash Raj and Sukumari walk through their
roles with consummate ease and expertise. The actress
who really impresses with her performance is Anjali.
She is almost perfect as the young , a bit mischievous,
village girl. Karthika, as the elder sister, is also
very good, especially in portions where she gets tortured
by her husband. Seeman delivers a dignified and typically
sober performance while Sampath Raj makes an impact
as the man who is trying to assert himself on his
wife, but is in fact afraid deep inside that a truth
about him might surface if he gives her too much freedom.
The director Gauthaman, after focusing on everyone,
seems to have overlooked himself just a little bit.
One gets the feeling that he could have given himself
a bit more attention.
Technically, Magizhchi is not a movie that demands
much. But, the locations, bordering on Theni are a
treat to watch and have been captured well on camera.
Music by Vidhyasagar reiterates the fact that he is
rightfully called melody king.
Magizhchi is a well made film about family relationships
and social issues. However, it has its innate limitations
in terms of being an entertainer. To the team’s
credit, the movie has never aspired to be an entertainer
that is out of the scope, the story permits.
If you are the sentimental type whose idea of a village
based film is not just ‘sickles and sevals’,
then Magizhchi will make you happy.
Verdict: Faithful adaptation of a good literary
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