Thursday, April 12, 2018

Magalir Mattum Review ~ Men are invited !

One movie that I was planning to watch in theatre a couple of months back, then recorded it a few times on TV but ended up watching only yesterday as part of a binge watching session was Magalir Mattum (Ladies only). The movie with the spirited Jyothika as the lead had me grinning, swaying and cheering for the characters in equal measure. This flick much like its namesake(the one which had the vivacious Revathi) is a joyride and a coming of age movie that keeps the viewers enthralled to the very end.

Jyotika, a docu film maker is a strong willed independent woman who takes it upon herself to bring back joie de vivre to her reel life would be mother -in-law Urvashi. When she learns of how her MIL misses her two dear friends of yore, she embarks upon a funride to reunite the three musketeers by taking them on a 3 day road trip to Chhatisgarh. Saranya & Bhanupriya are the two friends with whom Urvaashi has had much colourful school & hostel life history ; their friendship gets lost in the process of growing up in the humdrum of what we call life ! The three friends now all grown up and married have their own issues to deal with. Urvashi is widowed and her only son has left for foreign shores to earn a livelihood. Saranya the beautician is in a loveless marriage with an alcoholic and is also burdened with the task of taking care of her ailing mother in law while Bhanupriya married to a male chauvinist household has to combat everyday with her struggles of having lost her identity. How the women each with their own inner battles and demons to conquer rise up to the occasion and rightfully reclaim their joy for life is what the movie is all about.

What I loved about the movie :-

  • The leading lady Jyotika, was shown as a working professional in its true sense. Instead of typically showing the lead working in a shot or two, the story gives us enough insight as to how her work shapes her identity. This is ingrained in the story and gives the movie a lot of substance. 
  • The easy camaraderie between the would be mother-in-law & daughter-in-law. Contrary to how cliched the relationship is usually portrayed on screen, this was a welcome breather. When the daughter in laws calls her mother in law with an adorable nickname, you know that the movie has its heart in the right place. I wish we show more of such women positivism in our movies.
  • Social Media can be too intrusive ; but when used in right measure brings joy and merriment. How else does one go about searching for long last friends in this day and age ? 
  • Even now, many households have an unwritten code of what exactly a female is 'supposed to do' and what her 'role' is in a family. This movie sets the tone for talking about it. A few scenes in it give a proverbial boot to the male chauvinism that has ingrained itself in the fabric of our society. I especially hooted during a particular scene, when the bald headed female CRP officer gives a piece of her mind to the meanie politician son when he throws a fit at the presence of a hair in his food.
  • Terrific Casting ~ the three supremely talented yesteryear superstars in their own rights - Urvaashi, Saranya & Bhanupriya are a joy to watch. Their dignified performance elevates the whole viewing a few notches. What grace and elegance ! --- hope more film makers make stories celebrating their talents. The actors who reprised their younger selves are also a perfect case of wonderful casting !
  • The flashbacks have been interwoven seamlessly with the present making it for a nice watch 
  • Jyotika has made it a point to make more meaningful movies with relevant themes. Her exuberant presence adds much charm & oomph to the movie.
However a few things had me wishing for a better writing and etching of characters. For instance the movie's cliched tones on feminism and woman empowerment in the form of the over feisty Jyotika doling out advice is a little too much to digest.Women's lib as mouthed by her character belies reality. I wish it were that simple ! Also the men in the movie could have got a better deal.  Despite its shortcomings, its a visual delight with a heart tugging story and a must watch !

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