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Maharaja Movie Review: Vijay Sethupathi stands out in the action-packed revenge flick with a well-written screenplay by Nithilan Swaminathan

Vijay Sethupathi stars as Maharaja who is out to find his missing ‘Lakshmi’ making us wonder who or what it is. Check out Pinkvilla's review to know whether the film is worth a watch or not!

Updated on Jun 28, 2024   |  01:14 PM IST  |  546.1K
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Maharaja Review: Vijay Sethupathi delivers a standout performance in a generic storyline

Maharaja Review: Vijay Sethupathi delivers a standout performance in a generic storyline (PC: Nithilan Swaminathan, X)

Name: Maharaja

Director: Nithilan Swaminathan

Cast: Vijay Sethupathi,Anurag Kashyap,Abhirami

Writer: Nithilan Swaminathan

Rating: 3.5

Where to watch: Theatre

Vijay Sethupathi is back on the big screen once again but this time playing a calm and collected protagonist role. The film not only features the 96 actor in a highly emotional and action-filled environment but also manages to stand out with its spin on a rather generic story.

Adding his charismatic grace to the screens, Anurag Kashyap plays a formidable foe to VJS, making us question why and what is set to unravel. The film also has actors Natarajan Subramaniam, Abhirami, Bharatiraja, Mamta Mohandas, Munishkanth, and even Divya Bharati in a cameo role. If you plan to watch Sethupathi’s 50th movie in theaters, here’s the Pinkvilla review to help you decide.

The Plot:

Maharaja starring Vijay Sethupathi in the lead role features the story of a common barber who runs a saloon shop and lives with his only child. Unfortunately, his wife passed away due to a tragic accident involving a reckless truck crashing into their home, leaving behind their daughter. Miraculously, the daughter's life was spared by a metal garbage bin on that fateful day. Since then, the father and daughter have revered the bin as an idol, affectionately naming it Lakshmi.

However, once when the child goes off to a sports camp in another city, a bunch of goons ransack their house, stealing the garbage bin. Now, the father must find out where the bin has gone before his daughter is back from camp. Seeking the help of the police who ridicule him, he has to find out who took the garbage bin, making us question who would steal that and whether something bigger is happening around all this.

The Good: 

Watching Maharaja was a treat, especially seeing Vijay Sethupathi in a new light as a hero after a long time. His powerful performance in the action-packed movie steals the show, showcasing his versatility as an actor. Alongside other talented actors, Anurag Kashyap and Natarajan Subramaniam aka Natty shine with their standout performances. Kashyap's villainous portrayal leaves us craving for more, while Natty surprises everyone with his role transformation from a typical cop to a captivating character in the end.

When talking about the good aspects of the film, we cannot set aside the directing skills and writing talent put forth by Nithilan Swaminathan. Taking a rather generic plot done by several filmmakers in the past but giving it his own twist with a new kind of narration absolutely makes it worthy of a theater watch. Speaking specifically about his directing skills, the interval block stands out as a masterfully crafted moment that will surely entertain Tamil cinema enthusiasts and fans of Vijay Sethupathi.

Furthermore, it is worth mentioning the exceptional portrayal of actor Singampuli, which adds an extra layer of emotional depth to the story and showcases one of his finest performances to date.

When it comes to the technical side of the movie, a major advantage that made it enjoyable to watch was the expert editing by Philomin Raj. Known for his exceptional work in movies such as Kaithi, Master, and Vikram, Raj once again showcased his talent by perfectly aligning the screenplay style with the film. Especially in the engaging second half, the protagonist's unreliable narration and unexpected twists were made believable thanks to Raj's technical skills.

Additionally, the film also has a brilliant background score by Ajaneesh Loknath who pumps up the scenes with his craft. Along with the thumping scores, the skillful action sequences give a raw and violent effect to the film, making it a great watch.

The Bad:

The movie does have some negative aspects that might not resonate well with the audience, particularly in the first half where the pacing seems to be an issue. Despite the garbage bin aka Lakshmi being the central theme, it fails to create the emotional connection it was intended to. Even though the barber Maharaja repeatedly expresses his affection towards it, there are moments when it becomes repetitive and fails to convince us.

Additionally, the inclusion of actress Mamta Mohandas’ character as the school PT teacher did not serve any purpose in the whole narrative. Even though initially we are given the sense of a motherly bond shared between Maharaja’s daughter and her, the film does not address what is her significance in the whole plot.

Additionally, the decision to include a renowned director such as Bharatiraja solely for a few inconsistent jokes and emotional triggers was yet another misstep by the creators. Looking at it from a writing perspective, eliminating these shallow characters wouldn't have impacted the film's overall structure and could have actually resulted in a more cohesive screenplay.

Furthermore, the cinematography style used in the action movie did not quite manage to be impressive in any particular area. Especially with the heavy warm lighting the film did not stand out from a visual point of view. Moreover, the coloring is also a generic tone in most Tamil movies, which seems to be a repetitive trend for some time now.

Additionally, the biggest annoying factor in the movie was Anurag Kashyap’s lips not syncing with any of the Tamil dialogues in the movie. Even though the entire film is shot in Tamil with all the other actors speaking it flawlessly, Kashyap’s character makes us wonder why his mouth is glitching like that.

Finally, the movie does not offer a great plot in the sense of amazing content but is mostly riding on a well-written screenplay and narration. The twist, especially in the film’s resolution can be seen from a mile away if you watch South movies often.

The Performance:

Vijay Sethupathi's portrayal in the movie is truly commendable, especially in his role as a devoted father. The way he transitions from a timid character to someone with hidden depths while maintaining his innocence is truly interesting to watch. His performance sets the stage for the emotional dynamic between him and his daughter, making it a joy to watch.

Keeping aside the problems with the dialogues, Anurag Kashyap played a mean antagonist who also once wanted everything for his daughter. However, his character took up the evil path in doing so and had to pay a price, making the haunting experience a well-connected emotion. His wife played by Abhirami also took the attention of many despite having a low screen time.

The Verdict:

The film Maharaja starring Vijay Sethupathi in the title role is definitely crafted for the big screen experience. The impressive and expertly choreographed action scenes, combined with an energetic background score and stellar performances, come together to provide an enjoyable cinematic experience at the theaters.

If you want to spend a good amount of time watching an emotionally active and thrilling action flick, then surely watch Maharaja in theaters near you.

Vijay Sethupathi starrer Maharaja Trailer:

Are you planning to watch Maharaja? Let us know in the comment section below.


Goutham S is a native of Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. A writer for a few years now, particularly following Indian films and Entertainment. ...

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Credits: Pinkvilla

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