We saw Vemal a few weeks ago in Anjala and the actor is back again in the Rajashekar directorial Mapla Singam where Anjali plays his on screen partner.
The title might suggest that it could be the story demonstrative of the prowess of a bridegroom but Mapla Singam is about something else. That said, the director has taken a simple story and has narrated linearly in an engaging manner sans any frills.
Mapla Singam is set in a semi-rural town and starts with a rivalry between two groups in the village regarding who gets the ‘mudhal mariyadhai’ in a village chariot festival. But, hold on, this is basically the start and the film is not your usual ‘vettarival’ and ‘ratham’ types that such kind of films makes us expect them to be.
Rajashekar has taken an unfussy knot and has serviced it right. In fact even when he has someone like Anjali as his heroine, the director has not resorted to capitalizing on her glamour quotient. In that sense, he defies all the grammar and rules of such films which as an audience we are used to seeing time and again.
Vemal is in his comfort rural zone and with his handlebar moustache and white dhoti, has delivered a neat performance. Although making her appearance after thirty minutes into the film, Anjali has a well etched out role and makes her confident presence felt with her performance.
Soori, Kaali Venkat and Adam Greig as Vemal’s friends do the normal job of hero’s friends delivering funny one-liners here and there. A battalion of supporting cast characteristic of such films is seen in Mapla Singam too with Radha Ravi, Jayaprakash, Swaminathan, Ramadoss and others essaying their roles with experienced ease.
It is interesting to note that while Radha Ravi is shown as someone who is old fashioned in his thoughts on women, the director has balanced it out perfectly with his women characters Anjali and Madhumila as well educated professionals with a mind of their own.
Humor is spaced out throughout the film with the icing on the cake being the scene where Kaali Venkat and Soori drag Vemal to check out about his fan power.Dialogues of Don Ashok add value contribution to the film in conveying the right kind of feel. “Varalaarilayae hero-heroine a sethu vecha ore villain” is just a sample.
Technically the cinematography and music are functional working in sync with the director’s vision. A song or two could have been done away with although they are just minor niggles. A white man as hero’s friend mouthing dialogues on our culture and sensibilities appears a little off beat, but you slowly warm up to him as the story unfolds.
Toting it up, Mapla Singam is a film that has all the elements of a rural based, simple entertainer with no major complaints.
Verdict: A decent rural flick that entertains and engages; easily a onetime watch