But when the impact washes over you, there’s just no means of survival. None. Absolutely. No frame passes without a ribald joke or two, every scene involving women – Swetha Menon as Thangamani, the Malayali wife (and also the object of desire for the other men in the village) – is sexualized beyond measure. Thangamani in mundu, working feverishly over a mortar and pestle, Thangamani in mundu dancing to a bawdy number, Thangamani doing a host of other things …in a mundu…
Then, it hits you. The whole certification business is perhaps the cruelest jape of all.
This film has been cleared for universal viewing.
Any sign of sanity in the proceedings is quickly extinguished. A tale of politics? Yes, when Bhagyaraj doesn’t have other ideas. Involving his wife in a… you get the drift. He’s either trying to woo her, or is trying to rescue her from being wooed.
It is hard to shake off the feeling that Thunai Mudhalvar is made by a hormonal teenager who is visibly tired of his stash of porn. Boy, does the director have some fancy ideas. Older women – and even children don’t escape his …theme.
Bhagyaraj – he’s called Periyapandi by the way – has a five-year-old son who hasn’t been weaned. He chastises the boy, but the little guy would have none of it.
The five-year-old then delivers a very Bhagyaraj-esque comeback (kadhai, thirraikkadhai, vasanam – duly credited). The parents grin sheepishly at each other.
The theatre does a collective squirm.
But that’s not the worst part. A sequence involving the boy and his teacher is the most distasteful of all. One that definitely calls for responsible filmmaking, if not sensible. The movie rolls us back by a century with its unsavoury ideas – but the silver-lining? I have seen it all.
This is rock-bottom.
Definitely not universal. Not for kids.
…not for discerning adults, either.
And, if we are lucky, Thunai Mudhalvar – The Unopposed, would likely remain so for a long time.
The Thunai Mudhalvar 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 an advertising relationship with movies that are reviewed on the site.