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Director Santhakumar made a very impactful and an impressive debut with Mounaguru, the Arulinithi starrer critically acclaimed film that was recognized for its strong content. After a long gap of eight years, the director is back with his second film Magamuni, starring Arya, Mahima Nambiar and Indhuja in lead roles. Promoted as a Tamil film on an International level, Magamuni has now hit the screens. Has the film lived upto its expectations? Read on to know.
Arya plays dual roles as Maga and Muni who are identical twins , separated in their childhood. Years later, one of the brother's actions puts the other one into trouble and it also plays spoilsport in both their lives. Revealing anything more could be a spoiler and so we decide to stop it here. What happened to the brothers and did they happen to solve the chaos, forms the rest of the plot.
Magamuni comes as one of Arya's lifetime best performances, after Naan Kadavul. He breathes life to both the characters. His eyes speak so much and deliver a lot of emotions which isn't a regular characteristic feature of Arya. Both, Maga and Muni undergo various emotions and we feel those through Arya's acting. Indhuja has already proven her mettle through Meyaadha Maan and now, Magamuni has only upped the bar. She impresses with her natural and innocent performance as a caring and emotional wife. Mahima Nambiar is a surprise for sure, for the fact that she delivers a neat performance. It is good to see her get a meaty role that showcases her potential. Ilavarasu and Jayaprakash bring their expertise into their characters and make it an impactful affair. There are no complaints as far as the performances are concerned, and the film flies high on that aspect.
Magamuni is a well-directed film that manages to keep the audience intrigued until the very last minute. The suspense factor of 'who is who' is interesting to watch. Director Santhakumar has made an impressive work through this film, which has multi-layers and multiple themes. The film is spiritual in its own way and it naturally blends with the core premise. The treatment is dark, raw and gritty, and that helps in transferring the same mood to the audience. Dialogues by Santhakumar deserve a special mention. His take on life, god, spirituality, philosophy, politics and relationships are clap-worthy and makes sense in many places.
The screenplay looks organic and has a coherent flow without any disturbances. The transition between the stories of Maga and Muni looks seamless. The second half, especially the last thirty minutes hooks the audience with constant things happening one after the other. The intersection point of Maga's life and Muni's life is a scene to watch out for. The long serious scene between Jayaprakash and Muni (Arya) character has been staged well and it creates an impact. The beauty of Magamuni lies in Santhakumar's decision to keep the film subtle and deep when the plot has all the scope for gore and violence.
On the contrary, Magamuni has some setbacks as well. The editor's wise use of the scissors could have kept the film even more intact. A few scenes (like the character who likes Mahima one-sided) could have been chopped off. The slow pace of the movie might be of a concern for a certain section of people. You wonder why Maga ends up in a mental asylum and there is no proper explanation for it.
Also, the film remains unclear in many places and you don't understand why certain things happen. The director might have intended to convey something philosophically but it has to be clearly conveyed to the audience, right? There is no proper justification for Maga's actions in a few places and his characterisation is unclear. In the end, you don't get answers for a few questions and had that been answered, the film would have looked even more complete.
The cinematography by Arun Bathmanaban is wonderful that has some noir touches to it. The naturally low lit sequences look good on screen. Thaman's background score is an asset to the film and he just uplifts the overall mood through his re-recording. Magamuni uses the potential of Thaman as a composer without the heavy influence of technology-driven music.
Magamuni is an engrossing watch that will impress you if you adapt to the film's pace and its mood setting.