Critic’s Rating : 3.5 / 5
Mahaveeryar Movie Review : It is the best of times…
Review: Mahaveeryer opens with the story of King Rudra Mahaveera (Lal) and his minister Veerabhadran (Asif Ali), who are troubled by the royal’s constant burping problem. In fact, the entire kingdom is worried about the king’s health issue. Now, the story moves to modern times, where swami Apoorvanandhan (Nivin Pauly) is under a tree near the Anjaneya temple. He is surrounded by excited villagers, when the priest, Damodaran Potti (Sudheer Karamana), informs people that the idol of Hanuman is missing. In the ensuing search, they find the idol in the swami’s bag. He is taken into custody and produced before the judge (Siddique). The court case over whether the swami is innocent or guilty makes up the rest of the movie.
It takes a brave, intelligent imagination to intermingle modern-day grievances and judgments with an ancient king and the grievances of his people. The story and direction by Abrid Shine are brilliant, as is the way he has knitted the courtroom drama, with the king and his ministry coming to modern times. The satire too, is excellent.
The courtroom scenes are hilarious, and the nuances of dialogue and weaving together of the two periods in time all make the movie stand out. We have seen time travel films before, such as AR Murugadoss’s Surya-starrer 7 am Arivu, but the difference here is that this movie talks about a socially relevant story, as against the revenge drama in the Tamil film.
The movie’s first half moves very fast with fun-filled courtroom scenes and songs in Rajasthani style. The second half gets a bit serious, with some fun intact, though a lag sets in at times.
We get to see Nivin Pauly in a new avatar and he is good with balancing his logical arguments in courtroom and magical performances at other times. Asif Ali, as a soldier and warrior, carries the character fantastically on his shoulders. As the king, Lal, is excellent as he transforms from funny to serious; his charisma gives him a giant-like appearance on screen. Lalu Alex, Siddique, Mallika Sukumaran, Sudhir Karamana and Padmaraj Ratheesh are all good.
The music by Ishaan Chhabra is another highlight of the movie; the folk touch is enjoyable. The cinematography by Selvaraj Chandru creates a nice canvas.
If you are in the mood for fun mixed with seriousness, this movie is for you.
– V Vinod Nair