Mayuran Movie Review: The saviour needs saving in this insipid thriller
Inconsistent writing, unnecessary songs, convenient plot points, and a hero you can't quite root for make Mayuran a dull affair
Three boys from diverse backgrounds become thick friends almost immediately after entering college. Each has a different reason for studying — one is a social justice warrior, one is just there to get a degree and get his father off his back, and the third wants to study well and uplift the living conditions of his family. It is easy to guess who among these three will be the hero, the comic relief, and the collateral damage.
Cast: Anjan Dev, Vela Ramamoorthy, Ashmitha
Director: Nandan Subbarayan
Mayuran begins with the search for a missing man. One of these friends, Muthukumar (Balaji Radhakrishnan) goes missing, and the other two — Che Guevara (fondly called, and this was my favourite part of the film, SeGu, played by Anjan Dev) and Viji (Amudhavaanan) — frantically scour the streets of Chidambaram. But the non-linear narrative crisscrossing the real-time search with flashbacks to establish the chain of events that got them here, does not quite have the necessary urgency. Why would we worry about what happened to him when the flashback fails to establish the character at all? Instead, it focuses on Che Guevara's love story, which veers dangerously into stalker territory, briefly flirting with expert-level gaslighting.
I'm not sure what the brief for heroine Ashmitha's role was, but she hardly has a page of dialogue, plus one montage song, which is immaterial to the narrative. She drops out of the film only to reappear in the least expected place, and guess what happens then? She is dropped unceremoniously, again. The knowledge of her limited screentime is the only plausible explanation for why she walks in ultra slo-mo even in real-time. At one point, after SeGu's relentless stalking, which takes him to her workplace, he confesses his love. While she surely would have thought, "No, you are an insult to the name of the Cuban revolutionary," all she says is, "No." Since Mayuran seems to have been caught up in developmental hell, considering the prevalence of pre-demonetisation currency notes in the film, it is understandable that SeGu did not get to see Pink or Nerkonda Paarvai. So, with a straight face, with not even an iota of self-doubt, he answers, "Thirumba thirumba sandhikrom. Bus la, tuition centre la... Adhukku kaaranam enna?" Well... It is STALKING SeGu, the reason is stalking.
In between all this stalking, and searching, we are introduced to the college life of these three friends. While there is no reference to them learning anything, or even attending classes, for that matter, we meet 'Jharkhand-waala' Jogi, a fellow college student, and the token rotten apple. More a caricature than a villain, he never exudes any menace, and it is impossible to take him seriously, especially with his dialogue delivery. That is when we are introduced to the primary antagonists, Periyavar (Vela Ramamoorthy) and John (Anand Samy), the local bigwigs who are involved in every nefarious activity in Chidambaram.
Following a cruel twist of fate — courtesy an overworked hospital receptionist — and a drug deal gone wrong, the lives of SeGu and friends collide with Periyavar and Co. What starts off as the story of a hapless group caught up in a web of dark crime, slowly begins to become all about SeGu, and that's when Mayuran turns into a slightly better film. Devoid of all distractions, director Nandan Subbarayan gets to tell a story about how tough it is for a nobody to take on the mighty. This struggle, which makes up the final act, does have its unintentional moments of hilarity, but is still much better than the first two-thirds of the film.
Mayuran is apparently named so to highlight an individual rushing to the assistance of someone in need. In this case, it is safe to assume that SeGu is that rushing individual. Remember the Big Bang Theory episode where Amy explains that the presence of Indiana Jones has zero impact on how The Raiders of the Lost Ark ended? SeGu is just a tad bit more impactful than Indiana Jones, but the former's actions do not help his friends or family in any way. Many a time, it is other individuals who rush in to save SeGu, who puts everyone's life in danger.
Considering the central plot point, the compelling performances by the leads, and the mostly decent background score, Mayuran had the potential to be a film like Uriyadi. But somewhere under inconsistent writing, unnecessary songs, convenient plot points, and a hero you don't quite root for, Mayuran crumbles, and unfortunately for the film, no one rushes to help.