Sarvam Thaala Mayam review-Don't miss this gentle roller coaster ride
'Sarvam Thaala Mayam' is the best musical made in Tamil cinema
Critic's Rating: 4/5
Tuesday 29 January 2019
Sarvam Thaala Mayam
GV Prakash, Nedumudi Venu, Vineeth, Aparna
Sarvam Thaala Mayam is a deliciously presented, soothing, feel-good musical, a genre that we rarely watch in Tamil.
It has everything going for it: story is stunning and real, characters are ordinary & utterly believable, performances are superb, music is awesome and direction is brilliant. Rajiv Menon who is back after eighteen years as a director largely depends on two solid characters- Vembu Iyer (Nedumudi Venu) and Peter Johnson (GV Prakash) to narrate this beautiful story!
Vembu Iyer is an old school Mridangam expert who is unable to adapt to the changes in the modern music scene. Peter Johnson wants to break the gate and enter into the world of Carnatic music which is being ruled by the upper-class community. After mutually admiring each other’s talent, these two passionate musicians understand that music is omnipresent—Sarvam Thaala Mayam!
Generally, in musical films, the conflict actually would happen between the guru and shishya but here despite their different upbringings, they have mutual admiration which makes Sarvam Thaala Mayam a gem.
All the actors in the film are brilliant, the casting is just perfect. Nedumudi Venu as the mridangam vidwan is fabulous- his conversation with disciples, his ego, frustrations, eccentricities and small nuances that he comes up with are a delight. It is another milestone in this amazing actor's journey.
GV Prakash is earnest and sincere! Being a music composer himself, the way Prakash handles musical instruments look authentic and as a performer too, he has improved leaps and bounds. We love Peter the innocent boy-next-door and that becomes the biggest strength of the film. Kumaravel who plays GV Prakash’s dad has once again delivered a commendable performance. Dhivyadarshini as the TV anchor is perfect casting while Aparna Balamurali is a promising find.
What works in favor of the film is the manner in which Rajiv Menon has passionately portrayed the music scenario in Tamilnadu in a realistic manner. His characters are not particularly black and white, they have their own flaws and humane side just like anyone of us. There is no needless glorification of one particular community and at the same time, the director has not targeted the other section. He simply captures the emotions of his actors, their situations and leave it to the audiences to judge!
The direction's brilliant. Deft, yet deep.
Yes, Mani (Vineeth)’s character has grey shades but that is the beauty of Rajiv's writing. The reality show episodes look a bit contrived and the journey of GV Prakash to learn various forms of music is shown in a hurry... which could’ve been captured with more depth! But these are minor flaws in an otherwise beautiful, complete, moving experience.
Technically, Sarvam Thaala Mayam is the best work of Rahman in recent times, he shines in the poignant ’Sarvam Thaala Mayam’ track and ‘Dingu Dongu’ number conveys the rise of the oppressed community and their pain without being preachy. The composer’s background score is also impressive. Cinematographer Ravi Yadav hasn’t done any gimmicks, he simply followed his characters and captures their emotions, which is indeed the beauty of the film. Editing by Anthony is fish-bone sharp and the flow is quite organic. The run-time is also just perfect (131 minutes). Sync sound makes the characters real and one among us.
Overall, Sarvam Thaala Mayam is the best musical made in Tamil cinema. It's simple, uncomplicated storytelling leaves a smile on your face. It is a bittersweet tale of human frailties, a small film with a very big heart. Watch it because gems like these are hard to find.
Sarvam Thaala Mayam review-: Must watch
Reactions from Social Media:
Sreedhar Pillai @sri50
#SarvamThaalaMayam -Brilliant. Triumph of honest writing. @DirRajivMenon’s knowledge of Chennai music scene, perfect casting outstanding #NedumudiVenu & @gvprakash’s best ever performance, fab supporting cast,breezy& entertaining presentation , @arrahman soothing. 2hrs10minutes
Prashanth Rangaswamy @itisprashanth
Best costume, best makeup and best performance so far in @gvprakash s acting career. @DirRajivMenon has brought the best out of him !! And nedumudi venu - You gotta to watch his performance in theater to know the greatness of his acting !! #SarvamThaalaMayam.
Arun Kumar @tisisarun
#SarvamThaalamayam - what a transformation from a fan boy to student ! career best performance of @gvprakash na, nedumudi venu as mridangam expert done a fantastic job @DirRajivMenon
Kaushik LM @LMKMovieManiac
#SarvamThaalaMayam #STM 1st half - #ThalapathyVijay references galore. @gvprakash & the other actors playing the fanboys indulge in fullon #Vijayisms.
The pretty, natural @Aparnabala2 makes a fleeting appearance.
The guru (#NedumudiVenu) - sishyan angle is the film's ace so far
#SarvamThaalaMayam Interval: To all those who're doubting ARR's form these days, come watch the film for the real deal. The composer is on beast mode right from the title BGM, giving in the best possible score to @gvprakash and #NedumudiVenu's superb performances.
Assault Sethu @AssaulttSethu
#SarvamThaalaMayam ! First Half !
@gvprakash Career Best Performance Establish And The Creates The Musical Drama Intense And Emotional Nedumudi Venu Performance Scores High #ARR Subtle And Brilliantly Handled Drums And Bgm Rajiv Menon Came Back With Emotional Musical Drama!
Surendhar MK @SurendharMK
#SarvamThaalaMayam: A stark social commentary smartly wrapped & presented in the form of a musical drama. Caste hierarchy, social stratification, original VS copied/inspired works, media sensationalism, etc dealt very delicately in an understated way. @DirRajivMenon @gvprakash