Majili review: An old-school, romantic tearjerker
Performance of Samantha and Chaitanya saves this otherwise passable movie
By: J Gudelli/Telugucinema.com
Critic's Rating: 2.75/5
Friday 5 April 2019
Naga Chaitanya, Samantha, Diyansha Kaushik, Rao Ramesh, Posani Krishna Murali, Srinivas Avasarala
Poorna, a youngster in Vizag who is good in cricket, falls in love with a beautiful North Indian girl Anshu (Divyansha) but their love story ends abruptly as her parents oppose their relationship.
Cut to today's time: Poorna gets married to Sravani (Samantha) much against his wishes and he can't forget his past love. His doting wife does everything to bring him back to normal self but he has become an alcoholic, depressed about his lost love. They live together under same roof but their relationship is not consummated. What would be their majili?
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His first film Ninnu Kori and this sophomore attempt Majili have established a fact that director Shiva Nirvana loves to go on a nostalgic trip and loves to package old movie stories to today's audiences with new emotions. In Ninnu Kori, he repackaged Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam. In Majili, we get to see many old movies such as Mani Ratnam's Mouna Ragam, Sobhan Babu starrer 1984 movie Illalu Priyuralu and K Vishwanath's Sagara Sangamam. To make it a contemporary drama, he has added cricket as the backdrop by making the hero a cricketer.
The film begins in late 90's or early 2000's in the city of Vizag. It narrates a teenage boy belonging to railway colony falling for the daughter of a naval officer. Railways and Naval officers …both are distinct feature of Vishakapatnam. Shiva Nirvana has got this one right. Backdrop is fine but trouble begins with the plot and scenes. Why Chaitanya and the naval officer's daughter get separated is clichéd as it gets. After-interval, there is a good flashback episode of Samantha, why she married this drunkard Chaitanya who has turned Devadas due to his past love. Post this flashback, the movie's sequences again go to the old-style of film-making.
There is a shot in the film: when Chaitanya comes to his neighbor Samantha's house to fix a power fuse, she is already secretly in love with him and she touches his feet in reverence. Like the old-school characterization of Samantha, the movie's scenes are also old-school. If you do not have an issue watching films that are not telling anything new but just re-hashing old movies, then it makes a decent watch. But if you get tired like this reviewer does watching old-fashioned wife and husband drama then it will bore you.
As the film progresses, the writing goes for a toss and emotions appear fake. What saves Majili, besides the performances of main actors, are some good dialogues and music. The umbrella scene involving Samantha and Chaitanya just before the interval also reminds us of the iconic scene from Sagara Sangamam.
Performances of Naga Chaitanya and Samantha are the major plus. Chaitanya has shown lot of maturity in his acting, he has picked the emotional quotient right. Samantha in the role of Sravani once again shines. Her acting is a HUGE asset. Newcomer Divyansha Kaushik makes impressive debut. Rao Ramesh gets terrific role and the senior actor doesn't disappoint again. Posani is good in a brief character.
Gopi Sundar's music leaves a mark. Thaman's background score has lent quality as well. Vishnu Sharma's cinematography is rich. The locales of Vizag are captured well. Production design is okay. The film's first love story happens 15 years ago, but the old Vizag and today's well-developed Vizag look same in the film. Throughout the film we get to see 'nostalgic' feel than a contemporary look.
Shiva Nirvana's dialogue writing is good.
Majili, a husband and wife drama, is an old-school romantic tearjerker. Performance of Samantha and Chaitanya saves this otherwise passable movie.