Movie Review: Maragatha Naanayam (Tamil)

Debut director ARK Saravan's Maragatha Naanayam is quite a unique spin on the horror-comedy genre. The laughs are generous, the setting is fun and quirky (and not of the risqué kind). Yet it feels oddly soulless. Which is almost regrettable, as the film concocts a very Indian'esque version of the curse of the pharaohs that is about a hunt for a long lost emerald stone with supernatural powers. It's part ghost caper, part fantasy comedy and part heist thriller, and to Saravan's credit, he keeps it crisp, simple and cuts to the chase without any meandering romantic diversions and songs.

It's perhaps a tad simplistic too, for the utter lack of any dramatic complication in the story makes it difficult to care about the characters or their ordeals. And it doesn't help that the lead actors playing them, with the exception of Ramdoss, Anandaraj and M. S. Bhaskar, come across as listless and dull. But I must admit the ingenuity that has gone into shaping the character of Chanakya (played by Nikki Galrani), even if she is cast aside inconsequentially once the main story kicks in. Maragatha Naanayam is refreshing an attempt to straddle multiple genres, yet it leaves you with a sense of wanting more.