Maharaja Talkies is a downer in several respects, and given the common tale that it tells, and the mundane way in which it's told, it's clear as day that its chances at the box office are pretty slim.
Maharaja Talkies, I had assumed was a film that would talk of the trials and tribulations of four women who run a dilapidated film theatre, somewhere in a remote village in Central Kerala. I was to discover that the four sisters are there, and the theatre is in place as well, but that the trials and tribulations bit has been transferred over to the ill-fated viewer.
So the film is about Vimala (Urvasi) and her three sisters Ganga, Yamuna and Unnimaya. Apparently, they run a film theatre that has almost been bestowed on them by their mother, before she passed away. Vimala has been more than a father and mother to the younger kids, since their dad (Babu Namboothiri) had deserted them when they ere quite small.
Unfortunately, the film has little to do with films and the movie business in general, except for the posters that are stuck outside the cinema hall. Because, the focus of the film is not on the movie business, but on the animosity that exists between individuals.
Its Vijayaraghavan who plays the local moneybag, who is hell bent on bringing Maharaja Talkies down. He does it by hiring a cabaret dancer, and the people in no time desert the cinema hall and flock around the voluptuous performer. He also seeks the services of a Panchayat member who has been spurned by the 'theatre sisters' and who was asked to buy a few tickets for his family, for a change.
Thus it goes on, and the romantic interests of the four sisters soon arrive in all shapes and forms ranging from Mukesh to Ramesh Pisharady. There is no love in the air though, and whatever limited interactions take place between the odd looking couples turn out to be superficial.
The script of Maharaja Talkies staggers big time, and there is nothing much that the actors can do about it. Urvasi looks ill-at-ease, which is not common for an actress lik her. Mukesh appears in a role that looks more like cameo, and the rest of the cast including Vijayaraghavan are left with nothing much to crow about.
On the contrary, the viewer can forever complain about what he has to go through, for an odd couple of hours that he spends watching the film. The characters look like they have been carved out plastic, and rarely succeed in establishing a connection with the audience. The story appears deliberately joined together, and the flashback scenes are painfully amateur. And there is an attempted rape scene in the film that appears awkward and almost manipulative.
The technical aspects of the film are in sync with the general mood, and there are no wonders in this regard. Maharaja Talkies is a downer in several respects, and given the common tale that it tells, and the mundane way in which it's told, it's clear as day that its chances at the box office are pretty slim.
1 out of 5 (Poor)
WHAT THE RATINGS MEAN:
0.0 - 1.4 : Poor
1.5 - 1.7: Poor, A Few Good Parts
1.8 - 2.3: Average
2.4 - 2.9: Fairly Good
3.0 - 3.4: Good
3.5 - 5.0: Very Good