Magalir Mattum (2017)
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Directed By : Bramma
Cast: Jyothika, Urvashi, Bhanupriya, Saranya, Nassar, Pavel and “a surprise”
A new age, progressive Documentary filmmaker Prabhavati (Jyothika) reunites three long lost friends and takes them on a road to self re-discovery.
Magalir Mattum is about feminism but it doesn’t go overboard- it is just right on target without preachy dialogues and overly dramatic scenes. These days movies in the name of feminism resort to male bashing, Magalir Mattum just shows the simplest of the things a woman is denied and the happiness she gets when offered.
Magalir Mattum a story of three “thick” friends Gomatha (Urvashi), Rani Amrithakumari (Bhanupriya) and Subbulakshmi (Saranya) who grew up together but due to circumstances are separated and out of touch. There are two sets of stories running in parallel, the present in which all are the imperfectly perfect housewives and their past in school which establishes their character’s mischievous alter ego and shows the closeness of their friendship.
Rani has a husband Gothandaraman (Nassar) and a son Karthi (Pavel Navageethan) who are politicians and their belief is that women are only meant to be in kitchen or being operated upon by the obstetrician. They are shown to be insensitive and wont to use their woman as a ladder to achieve success. While Subbu’s husband Mangalamoorthy (Livingston) is a weird, good for nothing drunkard who comes home and sings daily in memory of his ex-lover. He doesn’t contribute in any way to the house and has a sick mother who he has left in the hands of Subbu. He is full of remorse for the way he has treated Subbu all his life and probably drowns that by drinking daily. There is a twist about who that ex lover is but its such a disappointment that nothing was scripted for that detail. The movie falls a little flat by not giving more detail to the husbands’ characters. They had two great actors in Nassar and Livingston who were under utilized. But then since the movie is titled Magalir Mattum (Women Only) this little flaw can be ignored. As also the fact that Karthi’s complete change of character was not very believable.
After being persuaded by Prabha (willingly and unwillingly) they embark on a 3 day road trip from Agra to the jungles of Chattisgarh, the trip culminating at the beautiful and majestic Chitrakoot waterfalls. Its a trip away from home, away from their overbearing and under-appreciating relations, away from the servitude ,responsibilities, frustations and loneliness. They have fun, bring out their gutsy, adventurous selves, reminisce about old times, throw punches, open up and basically enjoy themselves- for once they are free- and they make the most of it. The scenic panoramas and natural beauty in the background adds to the trip – you feel happy with them.
The casting of the characters is spot on except Jyothika’s, as Suriya once said in a movie she acts more than she is paid for, here also she tries more than is required. While the same can’t be said about the trio, they are natural, amazing and they bring a certain verve to the movie. A bright opening highlighting the characters was missing for Gomatha and Rani while the same when reserved for Subbu was aced by her.
A special mention must go to the portrayal of relationship between Gomatha and Prabha as Mother and her would- be daughter in law. They show exactly how it should be done- where Prabha addresses her mother in law as Goms and does everything to help her unite with her long lost friends and in return Goms also reciprocates the love by taking care of Prabha as her own daughter. The scenes involving them are absolute gold and epitomize the theme of the movie.
The message of Magalir Mattum was best surmised by Surendhar (Gomatha’s son):
If a man cooks for his mother he will go to heaven when he dies and if he cooks for his wife then he is already there.
So, what are you waiting for?? Go ahead, hug you mom and wife and if possible cook for them (not an issue if you dont know as they always appreciate the effort more than the outcome) and definitely make them watch this movie.