| Mugavari can probably be considered as a commercial
movie thats deals with an art movie subject. It has all the
trappings of a typical, commercial tamil movie. A saleable hero;
colorful song sequences; a fight sequence; even an unconnected
comedy track with a popular comedian. But the movie itself is
about the struggle of a middle-class youth to succeed in his
aspiration to become a music director. The harsh reality of his
situation is not sweetened in any way. There are no dramatic
turnarounds where he becomes a leading music director in the
space of a single song. His wait is long and painful and his
single-minded pursuit of his dream threatens everything else
he holds dear.
Inspite of the serious topic, the movie never goes
overboard with its sentimentality. The romance is pleasing
and the way the families have been depicted is fresh.
Instead of the usual routine of a father chiding his
good-for-nothing son(like in Aaha or
Aanandha Mazhai) we have
all his family members rallying around
Ajith and urging him to not let go of his dream. This is
emphasised by a key scene late in the movie that, though a
little overdone, is poignant. With its 'light at the end of
the tunnel' dialog at the end, the movie manages to rise above
the depressing nature of the theme to end up as a feel-good
Sridhar(Ajith) has been trying hard to become a music director
for eight years. Inspite of having earned an M.A, his only
dream is to become a music director(he even calls the eight-year
wait a "penance").
His family, consisting of his father(K.Vishwanath), his brother
Shiva(Raghuvaran), his sister-in-law Shantha(Sitara) and his
sister, is fully supportive of him. He runs into Viji(Jyothika)
and their friendship soon blossoms into love. She helps him
get a foot in the door in the industry but bad luck spoils
that chance too. When Viji's sister's marriage is finalised
suddenly, Viji's father(Jaiganesh) asks her to get married too.
But he is understandably worried when he learns that Sridhar is
unemployed and following a dream that has not been realised for
8 years. Back in Sridhar's home, Shiva suffers a heart attack.
Realism permeates most of the frames of the movie, be it in the
sets, the dialogs or the characterisations. Ajith's house is
non-filmi and its inmates are everyday people. There are
no uncalled-for emotions or sentimental outpourings. Feelings
are expressed naturally and with subtlety as in the scene
where K.Vishwanath feels for Ajith when Rajiv talks about his
employed brother but tries to hide it by changing the topic
when Rajiv talks to Ajith. Ajith's reaction here is excellent
as he understands his father's feelings but is unable to do
anything about it. As in Vaanathai Pola, family is at
the forefront here too. Though not quite as upbeat as in that
movie, the relationships between the members of Ajith's family
are a joy to behold. The scene where they draw lots to decide
who gets what they want with some bonus money is touching.
The major portion of the credit for the naturalness of the
scenes goes to dialog writer Balakumaran. The script sparkles at
several places and is down-to-earth.
He deserves a pat on his back for his dialogs in the
scene where Jaiganesh talks to Ajith about him marrying Jyothika.
Jaiganesh's dialogs bring out the fears of a man worrying about
his daughter's life perfectly while Ajith's response is
genuine and understandable. Other scenes like Raghuvaran's
advice to Ajith to stick to his dreams(along with the
'10-feet-gold' story) benefit from strong dialogs too. The climax
feels a little abrupt but Ajith's speech hits the right notes
without feeling too long.
The director goes for smiles instead of belly laughs and is
successful. The romance between Ajith and Jyothika is soft
and has quite a few delightful moments. Their phone conversation
and the way he wishes her on her birthday are charming while
her meeting with Raghuvaran and his family at a wedding makes
us smile. But the comedy track of Vivek seems like a
miscalculation. The laughs are few and the crude nature of many
of the jokes does not go well with the classy feel of the rest
of the movie. Ponnambalam's character and the resulting fight
are also unnecessary and feel tacked-on.
Ajith comes up with another good performance, conveying the
hopes and frustrations of a struggling music director well.
Jyothika looks cute(though a little flabby around the middle)
and also proves her acting credentials here after her
lightweight roles in Vaali and Poovellaam Kaettuppaar.
She emotes impressively when talking to Ajith after their
conversation with Jaiganesh. Raghuvaran is dignified as usual
while Sitara and K.Vishwanath fit their roles well.
Deva could have taken more care with the songs considering
that music is the backbone of the movie. Hey Nilave...
and Keechu Kili... top the just above-average soundtrack.
But the songs are rescued by the creative picturisation.
Some impressive graphics are employed in the Aande
Nootraande... song and a couple of the shots (like one where
it seems as though Ajith is floating on a bed in water before
it changes imperceptibly to him show him leaning on a wall)
are imaginatively executed. The colors come alive on the screen
through P.C.Sreeram's camera and the outdoor sceneries are