What a brilliant actor Induja Ravichandran is. In Meyaadha Maan, she plays Sudar, the sister of lead actor Vaibhav Reddy, who plays ‘Idhayam’ Murali – named after the 1991 movie starring actor Murali. As her brother drinks, mopes, and does the things that have become quite ritual for lovelorn men in cinema to do, Sudar lives up to her role as the feisty sister. A few moments in, she’s engaged in a nasty brawl with a guy over a ‘proposal’ – and as her brother arrives, hackles and sickles raised, it is revealed Sudar had delivered the letter. Other instances of hilarity solely belong to Sudar and Vivek Prasanna, the actor who plays Murali’s friend. But Meyaadha Maan – which incidentally is the name of the band that Idhayam Murali is a part of – chooses to focus on the lead couple and their dreary romance.
‘Idhayam’ Murali, who is said to embody the spirit of North Madras, falls in love with Madhu (Priya Bhavani Shankar), who is portrayed as distinctly upper class – and caste. And drawing inspiration from the movie the lead is named after, she’s all things dainty to his dilapidation, pretty house, a pomeranian, the works. He, on the other hand, is the stray that wanders inside – an analogy that the movie makes, by way of Madhu’s father, and tries to milk for what it’s worth. Hero sulks, drinks more, indulges in derogatory commentating, calls the girl names, calls the family names. Santhosh Narayanan supports the proceedings with traditional bar songs with lyrics that may mean something if you are well and truly drunk.
Amidst all this, Sudar falls in love. And thus begins a romance that sparks some real interest, and is a source of much mirth. When a potential suitor tells Murali that he fell in love with Sudar when he saw her tending to a wounded puppy and helping an elderly person across the road, he’s driven out in style. Later though, Vinodh, who finally begins to feel a little less brotherly towards Sudar, falls for her when she helps a visually-challenged woman write her exams. This moment isn’t set to a romantic score, but is just as funny as the couple themselves.
But Vinodh and Sudar end up being mere props in the grander scheme of things. A subject that Tamil cinema doesn’t tire of exploring with different actors and screen-names: A romance that almost fails and gives rise to a bearded creature who drinks, dances, abuses. There’s nothing about Murali that would make you want to sympathise with him, nor does Madhu inspire any interest; they just end up being mere stereotypes of the world they are portrayed to belong to. The only consolation perhaps, is the fact that the movie could be, and probably is a satirical take on Idhayam.
Vinodh and Sudar, on the other hand, are refreshingly honest in their rooted performances: They wear their hearts on their sleeve and live it up every moment with a joke or two and creating general mayhem as they go. If not for these two, Meyaadha Maan would just end up in the league of movies that have an idea but don’t quite know what to do with it.
The Meyaadha Maan review is a Silverscreen original article. It was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the movie. Silverscreen.in and its writers do not have any commercial relationship with movies that are reviewed on the site.