Madurey Review

The latest Vijay-starrer, "Madhurey", has only an apology for a story. It has no screenplay either. It is action, songs and some dialogues bundled together and the director has chosen to call it a film.


The credits say that Madhesh, once an assistant to Shankar, is responsible for the story, screenplay, direction and production. "Madhurey" is his debut as a director.


It is evident that he wanted to include all the ingredients said to be responsible for a hit. Alas! If only somebody knew what the right ingredients were!


As Ramana tried to ape his own successful "Thirumalai" in "Sullan", as Hari tried to make another "Saami" in "Arul", Madhesh has tried to ape Shankar, Dharani and others in "Madhurey". He has ended up doing it rather unsuccessfully.


These days several directors suffer from the delusion that youngsters prefer fast-paced films. The result is films in a perpetual fast-forward mode. Madhesh has also fallen prey to the same delusion and makes a film that moves at a breathtaking speed.


The first half of the film takes place in Madurai where "Madhurey" (Vijay) works as a vegetable vendor. The way sexy women fall all over him might make vegetable vendors wonder what he has which they don't have!


There is nothing much to say about the first half except that the scenes alternate between street fights, dances and songs, more street fights, and still some more dances and songs.


Finally, just before the intermission, a big question is thrown at you: do you know who Madhurey is?


As you wait in impatience, the second half begins and that is when the flashback starts.


Here, one must say hats off to the director for writing such an imaginative and novel story!


Madhurey is none other than Madhuravel, an Indian Administrative Service officer from Chennai - a district collector, to be precise.


As he fought a rowdy called K.T.R. (Pasupathi, in yet another obnoxious performance) and was thought to be killed along with his personal assistant, Susheela (Soniya Agarwal giving the only tolerable performance in the film). But he had escaped death.


To expose and exterminate the rowdy, he masquerades as a vegetable vendor. He chooses Madurai because that is where K.T.R's headquarters is. As Madhurey, he also adopts Susheela's family as his own. Other than investigating, fighting and selling vegetables, he also sings and dances with the sexy sirens in the neighbourhood.


No, you are wrong, the sexy siren he finally chooses is not the daughter of K.T.R.; she is the daughter of a crooked politician -- one of the small mercies!


In the second half, Vijay is supposed to be a civil servant but talks more like a street rowdy.


The director has explanations for that too, which the civil servant declares every second minute. "I am not a convent-educated collector, I am from a corporation school." The way he behaves and talks is definitely an insult to anybody who has studied in a corporation school.


The torture reaches its climax when the collector bashes up K.T.R. for nearly half an hour but nothing happens to the rowdy. He continues to laugh his sinister laugh. With each punch the laughter increases and it reaches its crescendo when the climax starts (finally!).


The less said the better about an end that has been created on the assumption that every movie-goer is mentally retarded.


Talking of songs, Vidyasagar tries to imitate his own from "Gilli", but without the same success. The only song that has attracted attention is 'Machan peru Madhurey...'.


Watch this film only if you are a masochist who enjoys self-flagellation.


The latest Vijay-starrer, "Madhurey", has only an apology for a story. It has no screenplay either. It is action, songs and some dialogues bundled together and the director has chosen to call it a film. The credits say that Madhesh, once an assis (2) - Aparna Nath

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