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'Madarasapattinam' is worth a watch

Old Chennai has been recreated very well in the film


Updated:July 16, 2010, 1:45 PM IST
'Madarasapattinam' is worth a watch
Old Chennai has been recreated very well in the film

This film is set in the pre-independence era, a love story between an English aristocrat and an ordinary Indian dhobi. The film is a recollection by the leading lady.

An ailing 80-year-old Amy revisits Chennai after the demise of her husband to fulfill her life’s desire. A changed Chennai is nothing like the pre-independence Madarasapattinam.

The scenes switch back and forth from the protagonist's present search to her memories.

Living in colonised India is an uphill task for its original inhabitants. The British change anything to suit their convenience and they are all set to convert a washerman area into a golf course. This is obviously stalled after opposition by the village and the protagonist Parathi.

Later an engaged Amy falls for the ordinary Indian Parathi. Then its clean and sacred love blooming on the screen. However the rift of cultures plays antagonist and destiny plays its cards.

Parathi the character played by Arya mostly conveys through his actions. For example, the character is seen at the wrestling arena and is speechless before the heroine due to the language barrier.

Amy Jackson is the soul of the film as the story unfolds through her character. This 16-year-old beauty carries her role with élan and poise.

The director Vishnu and his team have managed to visualise and show old Chennai in its grandeur days. Period films entrails greater effort, precision and monetary involvement. The massive sets of Mount Road, Central station, uncorrupted Covan river (now a main drain connecting Chennai from north to the south), the old rides (trams, cars and even the carts), Wall Tax Road are the focus areas in the film and a treat for every curious person who has visited Chennai. The art director and cameraman should be given a standing ovation for the recreation of retro Chennai.

GV’s music needs no special mention, the background score is the usual and the songs don’t charm.

The others in the credits include Naseer and Late Cochin Haneefa.

A worth watch at least to be able to see how Chennai used to be.

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