Maharaja - Engaging and Powerful

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Movie: Maharaja
Rating: 3.75/5
Cast:  Vijay Sethupathi, Anurag Kashyap, Abhirami,  Bharathiraja, Mamta Mohandas and others
Director: Nithilan Swaminathan
Produced By: Sudhan Sundaram, Jagadish Palanisamy
Release Date: 14th June 2024


Vijay Sethupathi portrays the character of Maharaja, a modest barber hailing from Chennai. Following the tragic demise of his wife, he takes on the responsibility of raising his daughter Jothi as a single father alongside Lakshmi, a significant presence in his household. His daily routine revolves around his residence and the barbershop where he is employed. However, chaos ensues when his daughter goes to attend a sports camp in Coimbatore for a week, and Maharaja becomes victim to a violent assault by three burglars in his home, resulting in the disappearance of Lakshmi. Despite initially dismissing his claims, the police eventually take action after Maharaja offers a substantial bribe to the officers to aid in the search for Lakshmi. The narrative introduces Selva (played by Anurag Kashyap), an electrician who engages in thievery under the cover of darkness. Who exactly is Lakshmi? Could Selva be involved in her disappearance? What motivates Maharaja to go to such lengths to locate Lakshmi? How will the authorities assist Maharaja in his quest to find Lakshmi? Answers to these questions form the rest of the story.


Vijay Sethupathi embodies his character flawlessly, conveying his shyness through his physicality and showcasing his power with his piercing gaze. During the movie's pivotal moments, his eyes reflect profound sorrow and fury. Anurag Kashyap, the Bollywood director, portrayed the antagonist character with equal persuasion and intimidation, leaving a lasting impact. Natarajan Subramanian (Natty), a former cinematographer who has transitioned into acting, portrays a corrupt but sincere police officer and gives a natural performance. Although Abhirami and Mamta Mohandas do not have prominent roles, their presence offers sufficient support to the remaining cast members.

What worked for the film:

The film's storyline, while seemingly simple, is a masterclass in narrative twists. Each turn of the plot is a source of suspense and intrigue, keeping the audience on the edge of their seats. But the film offers more than just its storyline. Its true strength lies in its writing. Maharaja is a remarkable example of transforming an otherwise straightforward narrative into an exhilarating and dramatic experience through its unique treatment and storytelling style. The film's writers have demonstrated exceptional dedication to intricacy. Each scene, particularly in the first half, is meticulously crafted to build up to a gratifying climax in the latter half. This meticulousness ensures our continued engagement with the story. While one can easily guess the final twist of the film, the impact it holds does not get diluted, leaving a heavy impact on the audience.

What did not work for the film:

While the director brilliantly sets the stage with the entire police complaint fiasco and Maharaja's stay in the police station, it becomes clear that his real goal lies elsewhere, not with finding Lakshmi. This subtle shift in focus adds to the intrigue of the story. In the second half, the momentum may loosen slightly, but these minor points are easily overlooked due to the film's effective narration.

Maharaja Review and Verdict:

Maharaja has a traditional theme and a familiar storyline at its core, but what works for the film is its execution, which excites audiences for the larger part. The director mixed all the elements, such as fun, elevation scenes, and twists impressively, which gave a strong emotional impact. 

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