Merku Thodarchi Malai
Vijay Sethupathi, apart from being a good actor, is a responsible producer and an empathetic human being. The last two sides of him are visible in full form in ‘Merku Thodarchi Malai’, a message-oriented film bankrolled by him.
Directed by Leninbharathi, ‘Merku Thodarchi Malai’ is a film with a purpose and shows in a touching manner how things carried out in the name of development can sometimes lead to destruction.
The story revolves around Rangasamy aka Rangu (Antony), who lives on the foothills of the Western Ghats. He wakes up early in the morning to go to his job– picking up cardamom from up the mountains and bringing it down to the village.
The daily routine of Rangu is shown to us for around 40 minutes and we get to know his colleagues, supervisor, estate owner, a tea vendor and an elderly man who relishes his past.
The aim of Rangu is to own a piece of land. In the meantime, he also enters wedlock with (Eswari) Gayathri and it is an unconventional marriage.
One day, Rangu’s hopes and dreams get shattered as the film shows how development also leads to the destruction of the life of a community.
Each and every member of the cast has been picked by the director in an apt manner and they have given their best. Be it Antony or other key members including Anthony Vaathiyar, Abu Valayangulam, Aarubala and Sornam, everyone has come up with solid performance.
And not to forget about ‘Isaignani’ Ilayaraja’s music and Theni Eswar’s cinematography, as the two have infused life and breath to the movie. All these talents have aided the director in a big way.
However, while narrating the life and pains of the people living in ghats, Leninbharathi sometime forgets that it is a feature film and jumps into documentary mode. But overall, ‘Merku Thodarchi Malai’ deserves to be watched for the message it intends to convey, beautiful visuals and great music.
Rating: 3 out of 5
Review by Naveen