Critic's Rating: 17/5
Friday 26 September 2014
Karthi, Catherine, Kalaiarasan
Straight to the point on Pa.Ranjith Madras-It is a gutsy and outstanding film. Karthi has made a sensational comeback as an actor and as a star. He lives the role as Kaali, a character driven role in a film where screenplay and writing is given paramount importance.
The story takes place entirely in Vysarpadi area of North Madras. It has been depicted in many Tamil films as a place where gangsters, politicians and crime rules. However it is Ranjith?s narration, screenplay and unfolding of events that hooks us straightaway. The director in a voice over gives us a backgrounder and introduces us to the characters and their connect with the area.
The bone of contention between two local parties is over who has the right over a huge wall in a housing board flat. Remember in Dravidian politics wall writing, hoardings and painting was part of image building by political leaders and local satraps. Ranjith has based the entire film on the ownership and fight over the wall.
The story is also about the deep friendship and bonding between Kaali (Karthi) and Anbu (Kalaiarasan) who live in the area. The place is made up of characters like Johnny (Hari) a former thug who has now become a lunatic, rising politician Mari (Vinod) Kalairani (Catherine) who is Kaali?s love interest and many others. The characters are drawn into local politics, one-man upmanship games, romance, betrayal and bloody revenge.
Madras works big time as writer and director Ranjith has given priority to his script, which hooks the audiences straightaway. It is a triumph of honest writing and heartfelt dialogues. Anbu?s death scene and the interval block are simply terrific.
It is Karthi?s best ever film after Paruthiveeran. He has made a smashing comeback as an actor of substance. He inhabits Kaali with consummate ease, can feel the wetness of his tears and the anger in his eyes. Catherine is adequate and her lip sync is perfect. The romance between Karthi and Catherine is cool and crackles.
Special mention should be made of the supporting cast of actors who raises the bar. Kalaiarasan as Anbu is riveting. His body language and dialogue delivery in almost a parallel role is terrific. And Hari who plays Johnny the lunatic is good; Ritwika as Anbu's wife Mary and Rama as Kaali?s mom are all natural and realistic.
Another major plus for the film is Santosh Narayanan?s music and BGM. The songs ?Kaagidha Kappal?, ?Aagayam? and Gana Bala?s pathos song are the pick. The drum sound in the climax gives you goose bumps. Murali's camera is a character by itself and night effect shots add to the mood. Art director T Ramalingam has made it look as natural and entire film has been shot in North Madras actual locations.
A big thums up to editor Praveen, for making it racy, especially the action scenes which look real. The action scenes in the film choreographed by Anbariv are stunning.
On the downside, the climax is too long and too many songs especially in the second half make it lengthy. However Madras is good cinema. Hats off to Ranjith for his detailing in script and presentation and the way he has extracted spellbinding performances from his cast.
Go for this one, its worth your time and money!
Verdict : Recommended