Magalir Mattum presents to you an enduring tale of three friends and their life that may not be a perfect film, but you agree to oversee the flaws as it is that kind of film which leaves your heart warm with remembrance, after it is over. It is the story of self-exploration and finding the freedom within. The women of the film are the under the spotlight and there are hardly any loophole in their performances. It was pure joy watching them shine on-screen and you can’t but root for them and embrace their personality with each passing scene. It is a rarity to see so many strong female characters in one film, and a huge thanks to Bramma, who invests enough screen time on each of the female characters letting them to leave an indelible impression on the audiences. This film is not as impactful as his National award-winning film Kuttram Kadithal, but it is certainly one of the best to come out this year.
Magalir Mattum begins in the year 1978, where we are introduced to three girls, Gomatha, Rani Amirthakumari and Subbulakshmi, who are sneaking out to watch a movie. The film then abruptly moves on to the present to Gomatha (Urvashi). Gomatha is a widow, who is living with her son’s (Madhavan, in a cameo) fiancé, Prabha (Jyotika), a documentary filmmaker, while her son works at Qatar. When Prabha hears about Gomatah’s memories about her long lost friends, she get intrigued and helps to trace the long-lost individuals.
It is here that the film actually begins, as we find out about each of the three girls. Rani (Bhanupriya) now lives in Agra, and her husband (Nasser) and son (Pavel Navageethan) are politicians who are hoping to win an upcoming local body election. Subbulakshmi (Saranya Ponvannan) is a beautician, who is trapped in a loveless marriage with Mangalamoorthi (Livingston), who still pines for a lover from his past. It is these conflicted back stories that make the film an interesting watch. The stories are natural, never going over the top or subtly undermine the complexities of life. It is just what it should be, complex and complicated.
The film handles some pressing issues about women liberty and freedom with finesse. As Jyothika points out in a dialogue, the real freedom of women is not about walking alone at midnight; it’s about marrying the man of her choice and doing what she loves – we couldn’t agree more. The film is a welcome change from the blatant hero-worshipping that brings some of the stalwart actresses of Kollywood together to present such a fantastic film that you are certainly going to remember for years to come.
The flaws of film start to annoy you towards the climax, when it gets quite melodramatic. But you can ignore them in respect to the bigger picture in front of you. Jyothika’s performance seems quite stiff, but she does hold the film together. However, it’s the supporting cast of Urvashi, Saranya and Bhanupriya who seals the deal for the film. They are, to put it in one word, fantabulous! Make time for their performance.