Director: Mithran Jawahar
Solid: KS Ravikumar, Mime Gopi, Dhivya Dhuraisamy
Mathil, with a pitch-perfect KS Ravikumar as Lakshmikanthan, reminds you lots of AL Vijay’s Poi Solla Porom. Lakshmikanthan is a playwright and theatre supervisor who has labored all his life to construct a home for his household. When a politician, Senathipathi’s (Mime Gopi) face is painted with out permission his compound wall, Lakshmikanthan has a alternative: ignore or struggle again. He fights again, from the start until the top. Mathil is Poi Solla Porom meets Thaana Serndha Kootam.
Solely, Lakshmikanthan’s ethical compass factors extra strictly to the true North. He’s not your common center class senior citizen: he will get an nearly mythic backstory from again when he was fourteen. The movie opens with Lakshmikanthan realising at his father’s funeral that an individual ought to by no means die earlier than proudly owning a home. You’ll be able to think about what a wall might imply to him. Writers Jothi Arunachalam and Ezhichur Aravindan add this layer of drama to what’s in any other case a comedy a couple of minor con job by a bunch of amateurs. In addition they intelligently make Lakshmikanthan a playwright.
He’s not simply your typical center class gent, he’s an artist who offers with concepts—and beliefs. It’s plausible when he rebels, particularly in terms of a query of id (or the wall for Lakshmikanthan). However, this layer of drama additionally makes the movie’s tone inconsistent, leaping abruptly from comedy to drama.
He generally sounds a bit too foolish for somebody who simply bought a mythic character introduction that’s set in a funeral. However not all of the jokes are humorous and even in good style. There are amusing episodes about how an inspector is reluctant to behave as a constable in a play and the way an actor within the drama troupe is known as Sa. Rojadevi. However there are additionally jokes which are barely humorous and extremely gross (there’s one which tries to make mirth out of the truth that jatti and kutti rhyme, jokes that handle to be each sexist and ageist). There are unfunny double entendres all through: you’d hardly ever discover them in Loopy Mohan’s middle-class-friendly writing.
Additionally, because the drama between Lakshmikanthan and Senathipathi takes heart stage, the comedian diversions take away a number of the dignity from Lakshmikanthan’s wrestle. You see him turning a phrase right into a foolish joke in a single scene. A couple of scenes later, he’s going through a horrible insult by Senathipathi. You get a transferring scene in a mortuary and in a number of scenes a cute vignette round Ok Balachander’s Ninaithale Inikkum. It appears like there’s a humorous Lakshmikanthan and a severe Lakshmikanthan. He’s humorous with buddies and severe with enemies.
To an extent, each come collectively within the efficiency (Ravikumar makes banal slogans like ‘en suvar, en urimai’ sound pure), however not within the writing which places Lakshmikanthan in alternating comedian and dramatic conditions till the movie’s remaining stretch when it settles right into a comforting — and unconvincing — arc about how Lakshmikanthan makes use of social media to get again at Senathipathi.
The movie will get too handy. The virality of Lakshmikanthan’s movies is unbelievable. He has an ally within the system, however it’s simply an inspector and an honorary member of the troupe. You’ll be able to’t tackle a strong politician with simply that. The way in which Lakshmikanthan takes over the rostrum at a political rally to ship his message must be seen to be disbelieved.
You don’t get a decision for the enjoyable Poi Solla Porom arc of the story. There’s a decision for Lakshmikanthan’s ‘my wall, my proper’ arc, however it’s not satisfying as a result of the movie spends little time establishing Lakshmikanthan’s emotional bond with the home (not to mention the wall). You do get a perfunctory shot of him weeping over a damaged brick, however that’s not sufficient to know why even the outer wall of his home is so necessary to him, why he received’t compromise.
Since neither we nor Lakshmikanthan join with the wall emotionally, it’s tough to purchase into the concept it represents our rights as residents. It’s not the Berlin Wall that Mithran Jawahar hopes it will be.
Lakshmikanthan has fought and received however we don’t know precisely how or for what. He’s projected as each a helpless citizen and an everyman insurgent with a handy medium of rebel: social media. The movie begins with center class issues and ends with center class options.