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‘Maaveeran’ review: Sivakarthikeyan shines in Tamil Nadu’s ‘Minnal Murali’

Maaveeran (The Great Warrior) released in theatres on 14 July.

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‘Maaveeran’ review: Sivakarthikeyan’s well-crafted fantasy action entertainer

Filmmaker Madonne Ashwin, who won a national award for his debut film Mandela, is back with his sophomore directorial, Maaveeran, a well-crafted fantasy action and political entertainer that revolves around a hero hailing from a socially and economically marginalized neighborhood.

Contrary to the title, Maaveeran (The Great Warrior), our hero initially lacks courage, focusing on his family's survival rather than confronting injustices. The film sheds light on government housing struggles and the lack of agency for residents in underserved areas. However, his job as a cartoonist sparks his creativity, allowing him to weave the struggles of his community into his work.

The film, co-starring exceptional actors such as Yogi Babu, Saritha, and Mysskin, takes us on Sivakarthikeyan's journey from cowardice to heroism as a cartoonist living in an underprivileged and impoverished neighborhood, where he ultimately finds his voice.

As the story unfolds, Sathya (Sivakarthikeyan) undergoes a transformation, acquiring a unique superpower that enables him to champion the cause of the marginalised. However, what sets Maaveeran apart is its rooted and innovative approach to the superhero trope. It incorporates elements of social realism and grounds the fantastical aspects in a relatable context.

The fusion of heroism, humour, social commentary, and innovative storytelling in Maaveeran presents a fresh take on the superhero genre, which is in many ways similar to the Malayalam blockbuster Minnal Murali starring Tovino Thomas.

The screenplay of Maaveeran is truly brilliant. Right from the opening moments, where Sathya sketches a tale of a courageous hero, the film hooks you with its layers of storytelling. The narrative follows Sathya, who finds himself compelled to confront a corrupt politician after hearing a voice in his head that foretells events and guides him through perilous situations. That twist of fate awakens his inner warrior. The comical yet intense confrontation with the villain sets the stage for conflict, while Yogi Babu provides comic relief.

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Maaveeran excels with its exceptionally innovative narration through Vijay Sethupathi's voice, which resembles reading a comic strip and completely enhances the storytelling experience.

The writing is remarkably incisive, exhibiting a level of precision that captivates the audience from beginning to end. Ashwin's direction elevates the film to a whole new level, complementing the outstanding acting performances that leave viewers in awe. Seamlessly intertwining fantasy and social consciousness, Maaveeran achieves an exquisite balance that is nothing short of brilliant.

Maaveeran (The Great Warrior) released in theatres on 14 July.

A still from Maaveeran

(Photo: Twitter)

In a film where the protagonist wrestles with cowardice for a significant portion of the runtime, it is truly captivating to witness how the impeccable writing and outstanding acting performances converge to craft moments that elicit genuine admiration. For instance, Sivakarthikeyan's character dishes out powerful punches on the enemies, as directed by his inner voice, all while innocently apologizing. This unique trait adds depth and charm to his portrayal as a superhero. The contrast between his fierce actions and heartfelt apologies creates an intriguing dynamic. It humanizes his character, making him relatable and endearing to the audience.

Such instances are nothing short of whistle-worthy, leaving the audience thoroughly enthralled by the skillful execution of the narrative and the mesmerizing portrayal of the character's journey.

Sivakarthikeyan, known for his charismatic screen presence, effortlessly breaks the fourth wall and adds a touch of playfulness as he addresses the much-rumored topic of his Bollywood debut. With a mischievous grin, he quips, "Enna kadha solradha irundhaalum, North India la vandhu sollu" which translates to, "Even if you have a story to tell, come and narrate it to me in North India." This witty remark not only showcases his wit but also hints at his willingness to explore new territories in the world of cinema, leaving fans curious about his potential venture in Hindi film industry.
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Maaveeran does experience a sense of lag in the second half, there are moments of awe and laughter in sporadic intervals that counter that feeling. The casting choices, in itself, is a breath of fresh air, as it introduces a lineup of actors who embody their characters with unexpected and innovative interpretations. Each performer in this political satire delivers a distinctive portrayal that defies expectations, adding layers of depth and complexity to the film's ensemble. In addition, Vidhu Ayyanna's visuals add depth to the film's urban superhero setting, and Bharath Sankar's music, especially in the power-packed action sequences, seamlessly blends with the narrative, adding a unique flavour of quirkiness to it.

Maaveeran is a triumphant tale of bravery, emphasizing the importance of fighting for justice and embracing one's inner strength.

The film poignantly illuminates the tendency we have to stifle our own motivational inner voice, perpetuating a cycle of self-doubt and insecurity. It serves as a profound lesson, emphasizing the power of our negative thoughts to overshadow the positive voice within us. By highlighting this dynamic, the film inspires the audience to embrace the potential within, encouraging them to break free from the grip of negativity and embark on a journey of personal growth and empowerment.

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Topics:  Movie Reviews   Sivakarthikeyan 

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