Cast: Suresh Guru, Jothiraj, Siva, Kennedy, Swasika, Agathiyan, Rama, Mayilsaami, Kokila
Director/writer: M.S. Shaktivel
Banner: Anjana Cinemas
Producer: S. David, J. T. Satish Kumar
Cinematography: L.K. Vijay
The recent political turnaround in the state is having a direct impact on Kollywood. Insiders swear that Kollywood will see brighter days as the political verdict removed the monopoly that existed in the industry. As one of the effects of the election results, a plethora of movies made with small budgets and little known stars is making its way to the big screen. This week saw four such movies being released, including Maidanam.
Four thick friends in their 20s from a Tirupur village swear by their total friendship and bonding. One works at a pharmacy, one helps his father at the farm, one is waiting to join the police force, and the last is unemployed. The unemployed man’s sister has romantic leanings to the wannabe policeman. Though he feels the same, he reminds her about the societal norm that a friend’s sister is like one’s own sister, there by denying his own feelings towards her. When her marriage is fixed, she suffers in silence with her feelings.
One day, the friend working at the pharmacy attempts suicide, but is saved by his friends. He claims that he was punished at his workplace for supplying the wrong drugs which had endangered a patient’s life.
Just days before her marriage, the girl vanishes without a trace and the agonized family searches for her, but in vain. They avoid approaching the police, fearing their honour would be compromised. The search for the girl turns futile and all hopes seem to die. How could have she vanished without a trace? Did she elope with her lover? Did she kill herself? Does one friend’s suicide attempt have anything to do with the girl going missing? From here on begins a roller coaster ride in search of the girl, a ride which tests the depth of their friendship.
With a low budget and lesser known cast, Maidanam exceeds our expectations. This village thriller has stayed clear of the stereotypes overused in rural themed movies. Maidanam shows its locations and characters with modernity, which is a truthful portrayal of villages these days. Director M.S. Shaktivel has made Maidanam by the textbook, perfectly balancing all parts of a movie. Thriller elements are aplenty, which keeps viewers at the edges of their seats. The four friends (Suresh Guru, Jothiraj, Siva and Kennedy), assistant directors in real life, have presented healthy performances on screen.
Editor Yoga Bhaskar has made a beautiful collage of the scenes, but has tested our patience with an excess of slow motion scenes. The movie also essays the bonding among friends and how one even sacrifices one’s career in the search for his friend’s sister. Sabesh’s music shoulders the thrilling scenes, but fails in the dance numbers and songs. Maidanam will encourage budding film makers and its success will prove that talent will be acknowledged in Kollywood. Maidanam belongs to the cream of its category.