I went to the movie Madharasapattinam with the expectations of an art film or a historic film but realized at the end of the movie that it was indeed a dainty love story. Set in pre-independent India, the plot has very little to do with India's freedom fight but basically tells us a tale of love between a British woman (Amy Jackson) and an Indian man (Aarya) as they struggle for their own freedom from the demons of the society. One should say that the film crew have succeeded big time in bringing the Madras of the 1940's back to life with compelling backdrops and nostalgic captures of ancient Chennai's lifestyle. Think we can pay no heed to the authenticity of the images or events portrayed in this film but simply enjoy the different experience of a romantic trip to the good old Madharasapattinam. The beautiful Amy Jackson has displayed a great deal of maturity in her acting and keeps us engaged in her charismatic screen presence. With Amy stealing the show, Aarya lends the perfect balance to the script with a clean show of fearless attitude and sporadic humor but one gets a feeling that he could have been more expressive in his rendering of romance. It was also good to see the late Hanifa, Nassar, Bala singh and M.S. Bhaskar all in one place.
The opening song "Meghame meghame" deserves a special mention not for its musical composition but for the awe-inspiring voice of MSV in the song. It was absolute magic to hear Melisai Mannar's voice in modern stereo sound systems. "Pookal pookum" and "Vaama Dhuraiyamma" have a pleasing effect on the ear drums. The movie did dip and stagnate at times but its worth a trip to Madharasapattinam for a special experience.