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Mudhalvan a Tamil Political film that released in the year 1999 directed by Shankar, starring Arjun,Raguvaran, Manivanan and others was a box office stealer. It has always been a viewer’s choice ontelevision whenever it is telecasted; it steals the TRP whenever it is on air.Today though I have seen the movie several times both on big screen as well as in TV, I was attractedtowards it, but this time I wanted to analyze the film as an audience as well as a film analyzer. I wastaken aback by seeing some insight things hidden in the characters, names and dialogues.I am basically a very big fan of writer late Sujatha, his combination with Shankar has always been keenlynoted by everyone.First of all let us discuss about the face value of the film, the first USP of the film is its director Shankar,this happens to be his fifth film, all the four films that he has directed before from Gentleman to Jeanswere all a box office stealers, his first was with Arjun and made a twist in the history of Tamil cinema allhis films lived up to the expectations, his gentleman fought against corruption while his Kadhalan wasa love story, his Indian starring Kamal Hassan set a benchmark and that was too against bribery with anunexpected characterization of Kamal Hassan playing both protagonist and antagonist, his next wasJeans with Prasanth playing dual roles and starring Miss Universe fame Aishwarya Rai, it was a romanticcomedy film and so obviously his next created more hype in the minds of the audience, and it wasspeculated that Mudhalvan was to be originally done by Rajinikanth and due to some reasons Arjun tookover the project, beyond all these massive inexpensive marketing insights it had A.R.Rahman’s musicwhich gave the film another USP. And with all these face values it is always a cat on the wall situationfor any film to meet the expectation of the audience but the film did it with a very effective yet differentstoryline.Now we shall discuss about the storyline of the film, the film had all the above said pre-releaseexpectations, and now after all these fanfare it is the story which should keep up the promise made bythe publicity, and this story kept the promise. This film also deals with a vigilante subject as the earlierfilms of Shankar like Gentleman and Indian did, but this time with a very different perspective. Themain plot of the story is an ordinary layman taking up the challenge of a state’s Chief Minister to be theChief Minister of the state for one single day (i.e) “One Day CM”, which the audience never had in theirmind at all. It is always a dream of every layman to curse his ruler and aim to become CM one day anddo good to the people, this simple desire was taken as the knot by Shankar and Sujatha and made intoa very interesting film with it. This story deals with very ordinary next door character of ours, and thatcharacter does many good to the people like arresting and suspending more than 300 corrupt officialsranging from a weigh boy in a ration shop who cheats people with fake weighing to the ministers of thestate in one day. This was the main pulse capturing thing in the story. The second half of the film whereArjun becomes CM and faces all the problems kindled by Raguvaran the Ex CM is a usual cat and mousefight of Tamil cinema. The first half of the film made the content of the second half look brighter thoughit was usual.Today when I saw the film things I noted were the names of the characters in the film which itselfmarks the brilliancy of Sujatha Tamil names like Pugazhendhi, Balavesha, Mayakrishnan, Aranganathan,Thenmozhi, Muthuvadugu, Needhimanickam, Indhrani, Manavalan, etc. These type of good Tamil namesdisappeared from films for a long time. And things like “Angathu” a tradition followed by the farmersduring the harvesting were told casually along with the story without any force. This is a techniquethat must be followed in the screenplay, nothing must find a separate track in the film apart from themain storyline, the comedy, romance and message must be constructed along with the storyline not asa separate track. Indian cinema always has a gift of a character called comedian in all its film, but notmany are being used effectively, a comedian is the person who answers the questions of the audienceabout what the hero is going to do next, in this film both Vadivelu and Manivanan’s characters are
designed to do the job neat and clean, for instance Mayakrishnan’s character motivated Pugazhendhito become CM which is the main question of the audience in that moment. In that way every charactera village girl, an old fashioned farmer with the desire of getting a groom with a Government job to hisdaughter, a Cartoonist father, a Serial Addict Mother, etc, were was different.The film had very strong and punchy dialogues full of messages. Sujatha as a writer gave excellentdialogues all over the film.The cast of the film Arjun, Raguvaran, Manivanan and Vadivelu who carried the film on their shoulderswere brilliant throughout. Raguvaran was excellent from his introductory scene where he breaks thehand of a follower to his last word in the film “that was a nice interview”. Manivanan had a brilliant rolethat motivates both the audience and the central character of the film to the main knot of the story,apart from these Manisha Koirala, Haneefa, Vijayakumar, etc were at their best.The music of the film was a chartbuster with songs of all genres, the winning combo of Shankar andRahman reaped the gold again in Mudhalvan too, K.V.Anand the colourful cinematographer of the Tamilcinema did a colourful capturing of the film and pleased the audience with more beautiful yet appealingshots.Finally, Mudhalvan had a complete structured screenplay with all the necessary ingredients that acommon audience needs, and that brought it the winning olive crown at the box office.A screenplay is not complete unless or until all the questions of the audience are answered before theend card pops in and all the characters in the film had something to do with the story not anythingseparate.

Rizwan Rafiudeen

Tags :Mudhalvan,Shankar,Arjun,Manisha Koirala,AR Rahman

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