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Hardly any fun at all

Maja (Tamil)

Director: Shafi

Cast: Vikram, Manivannan, Vadivelu, Pasupati, Asin

It is all right for Vikram to have tried his hand at comedy but his fans will surely find something missing. At the end of it all, one wonders what made Vikram do a film like this?

The Malayalam original Thommanum Makkalum might have been a hit but the Tamil title itself is intriguing. Except that the characters utter the word at various places there is nothing to justify Maja. Vikram must think twice before doing a film of this nature as it neither fulfils his abilities to take on a comic role, nor does it show his histrionic acting talent.

Govindan (Manivannan), living alone, finds two abandoned small boys and adopts them. The three — Govindan, Arivumathi (Vikram) and Adhikesavan (Pasupathi) — fend for themselves by stealing. This lands them in a crisis.

The food that Adhi pilfers from a household happens to be poisoned and this leads to a chain of events, including the entry of Seetha (Asin). Chidambaram is hounded by the village chief, Kalingarayan (Malayalam Murali).

Lukewarm

The role hardly offers a challenge and that perhaps to some extent explains a lukewarm performance by Vikram. For Vikram, it is one of the easiest characters he has portrayed thus far.

However, his talent is lacking in a dew scenes where he is with his father and brother. Pasupathi, on the other hand, has used the opportunity well.

Pasupathi has a major role along with Vikram and has used the opportunity to maximum and has come out in flying colours. With the main trio taking the proceedings on a seemingly humorous track where is the need for a comedian? Vadivelu as Pulippandi is rather redundant. Manivannan does his job well. Given the character, Vadivelu has proved that he is an experienced hand.

Malayalm Murali (voice of Rajesh) has done a good job while Vijayakumar is competent in a character that is not new to him.

Asin has little to do, except the introduction scene where she proves her mettle. After that she is just a glamour doll dancing with Vikram for the songs. It has become common practice to use heroines in single dance numbers. And doing that here is Sindhu Dhulani.

It is not Vidyasagar at his best that one hears. However, two songs ("Solitharava" and "Thaimasam") are melodious. And how the lyrics of "Chi chi," obviously meant for the frontbenchers, passed the censor remains unanswered?

The rerecording leaves much to be desired. Balasubramaniam's camera work, however, is noteworthy and Viji's dialogues enhance the work.

Getting an opening from an established producer such as Rockline Venkatesh and with Vikram in the lead, director Shafi's venture should have been more interesting, especially as it comes during the festival season.

S.R. Ashok Kumar

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