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ARK Saravanan makes an impressive debut with Maragatha Naanayam - a story that has elements of horror, fantasy and comedy. 

Maragatha Naanayam Cast: Aadhi, Nikki Galrani, Ramadoss, Ananda Raj and Daniel Pope 

Maragatha Naanayam Director: ARK Saravanan

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Maragatha Naanayam Rating:

4 Star Rating: Recommended

4 Star Rating: Recommended

4 Star Rating: Recommended

(3/5)

Marudhanayagam...sorry, Maragatha Naanayam is rather an unusual title, to begin with. Which is why it starts with a voiceover that narrates the subtext. Irumporai Raja, a Chola king chances upon a powerful emerald, Maragatha Naanayam, with which, he conquers most of the kingdoms down South. Much like Gollum from the Lord of The Rings series, Maragatha Naanayam becomes an obsession for Irumporai over a period of time. So much so that he takes the emerald to his graveyard. After centuries, what if someone finds his precious and steals it? 

Out of the 200 odd films that the Tamil film industry churns out every year, the average number of horror comedies gives us an uneasy picture of the state of comedy in Tamil. Two weeks ago we had a genuinely funny horror film, Sangili Bungili Kathave Thorae and now, Maragatha Naanayam. Thankfully, Maragatha Naanayam is not an out-and-out horror comedy. Although it does leave us scratching our heads after a point. 

Senguttavan (Aadhi), a smuggler by profession, falls for Chankya (Nikki Galrani). At first, we don't know who the woman is, barring the fact that she's the heroine. Two minutes later, we get to know that she's engaged to a man who picks her from the bus stop and warns Senguttavan. To this, Senguttavan says that he just wants to hear Chankya's voice before she leaves. Here, the director wants you to empathise with Senguttavan. But the scene is so weakly written that it evokes laughter. As for the plot, Senguttavan and his friend Ilango (Daniel Pope) take up the mission to track down Maragatha Naanayam, a powerful emerald artefact that is worth crores. From Chidambaram (Ramadoss), they learn about Irumporai Raja, whose spirit is said to take the lives of those who touch Maragatha Naanayam. Meanwhile, there's also a villain called Twinkle Ramanathan (Anand Raj) vying for attention.

Young filmmakers nowadays are coming up with unique ideas that are far from traditional masala potboilers. ARK Saravanan's interesting bits are a welcome change to a genre that goes as cliched as 'dead on arrival'. For instance, in one of those 'serious' moments, a ghost (played by Kaali Venkat) takes a roll call, only to discover that most of his friends (all ghosts) are hitting on the only female ghost in the room. Unlike most films, ghosts are normalised in Maragatha Naanayam. They wear normal clothes. They are unwittingly funny.They sit and relax over booze and a gaana song. But since they're ghosts, their faces have to be white, right? Who said ghosts aren't racist? 

Saravanan's characters, especially the ghost sidekicks - Ramadoss, Arun Kamaraj and Nikki Galrani are funny for most parts. Though Kaali Venkat's voice perfectly suits Nikki Galrani, she becomes irritable after some point. On the other hand, Ramadoss is one of the promising, no-nonsense comedians, who gets very less attention from mainstream filmmakers. He's terrific; as a supporting artist and as a comedian. Ramadoss, Arun Kamaraj's act with Anand Raj in the second half is one of the high points of the film. There's a superb scene, where Arun Kamaraj (also a ghost), who gets shot by a henchman, inadvertently says, "Enn da sattaila poo pootta." The audience erupted with laughter. Not to mention MS Bhaskar's scene with Anand Raj, it cracks you up. 

Perhaps the only problem with Maragatha Naanayam is the first half hour, which gives a totally different picture of a fun-filled film that follows. Every film takes its time to establish the crux, so the pace isn't an issue - unless it makes you less invested in the plot.

Horror comedies in Tamil cinema remind us of the basic concept of reproduction. Among the 40 million swimmers, only one survives. And twins are a rarity.

( The writer tweets as @LoneWolf_7126 )

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WATCH HERE: Maragatha Naanayam Trailer

Source : http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/maragatha-naanayam-movie-review-aadhi-nikki-galrani-ramadoss/1/980877.html

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