No. 66 Madhura Bus Review
M A Nishad's 'No.66 Madhura Bus' lacks the very vital energy and imagination that should have set it soaring towards box office success. It has an initially intriguing plot that falls flat as a drama as the bus progresses ahead.
Varadarajan (Pasupathy) boards the Madhura bus, with hopes of slaying his adversary Sanjayan (Makarand Deshpande) who had ruined his family and life. On the bus, along with Varadarajan is Soorya Padmam (Padmapriya) who lends and ear to his story as the bus starts its journey to Madhura.
I loved the names of the characters in this film, though they remain hollow within. Soorya Pathmam is what Padmapriya is called, Swetha Menon is Rita Mammen and Mallika is Bhavayami. But there is something that totally escapes me. How did Padmapriya and Swetha Menon agree to board the Madhura Bus?
Soorya Padmam has a story to tell, that is as old as the hills. She sits beside Varadarajan and eggs him on to kill the guy who had ruined his life. And Rita Mammen finds herself in an even worse scenario, in that she has nothing to do in the film except walk along the jail corridors.
Bhavayami is perhaps the luckiest of the lot, but the way her character goes up in smoke is deplorable. And when he loses his son, Varadarajan is forced to repeat the Pasupathy act in 'Vairam', the only difference being that he had lost his daughter in the earlier film. It is funny when the same actor does the same scene again, albeit in a different milieu.
I'm sure this film has nothing to do with Bharathan's classic 'Thazhvaaram', and it has nothing to do with Biju Varkey's recent film 'Orange'. But yes, Madhura Bus does remind you of both these films, and certainly in not a very positive way.
The script reminds you constantly that we have boarded similar buses several times before. The theme of revenge isn't something new, and if you have plans to tell a story based on an oft-repeated them, you better have something that the viewers feel really worth listening to.
Performances come to the rescue of this film, and all the actors do try their best whether it be Pasupathy or Makarand Deshpande. I wish that they had got Pasupathy's voice dubbed by someone else though. As such, half of it is not decipherable, which is a shame. Of the women, Mallika is undoubtedly the pick of the lot, with the rest of the actors having been given very little scope to perform. Technically, there is nothing much to brag about either, and except for the decent cinematography and poster designs, 'Madhura Bus' retains a mediocrity through out.
'No.66 Madhura Bus' does want to come across as a thrilling melodrama that would keep your pulses racing, but doesn't even come close to realizing its dreams. The two star rating of the film is hence devoted entirely to the electrifying performances of its two lead actors.
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