Maragathamani: A ‘spirited’ ghost story
The sense of humour in this movie is one of the best this year has offered
This could well be the sleeper hit that genre films require to push the idea ahead. It is a movie that makes it to the theatres without much ado. I must confess that I was taken by surprise to see the audience turn out. A few minutes into the movie, you realise the viewer has done his homework or at least knows what he is specifically asking for.
For once, the ghost here is not out to avenge rape or deceit. Much less are the group of ghosts' jilted lovers scaring you with shrieks, lightening, haunting melodies and tragic romance stories. This time they have not left behind their sense of humour. Interestingly, the ghosts do not take them too seriously. It is a good-as-long-as-it lasts outing. Although most of it is what you may well expect, it still keeps you interested. Punctuated with rib tickling one-liners, often delivered with dead pan expression, it ensures you can just giggle without embarrassment. It is the ‘spirit ‘of the spirits that wins the day and keeps you smiling, if not in splits, and most importantly, keeps you interested during the entire show.
The comic ghost(s) tale does away with romance and hence the song-dance routine too, by default. The long drawn romantic sequences are conspicuously absent – needless to say a refreshingly welcome departure. It ensures that songs and romance do not have to be the mainstay of every Friday narrative and there are multiple roads to the bank.
Cast: Aadhi, Nikki Galrani
Director: ARK Saravanana
Two friends Raghu (Aadi) and Bujji (Daniel Pope) are a tad tired of small time offences and are looking for something big, even if it is means revolting and leaving the gang they have been reporting to. So, notwithstanding the boss Ramdas’ (Anandraj) orders, the twosome (an interesting aspect of male bowling without the predictable sidekick status to the friend) decide to up the ante. At a time when every informed baddie chickens out, they promise to deliver the Oriental smuggler and his Indian friend (Mime Gopi). The task is to retrieve, for a few comes, the elusive, if cursed, jewel that goes back a few centuries. There is this unmanned truck that has taken 132 victims for touching the jewel, and the latest twosome could be the next unwitting victims of the jewel's curse.
Assisting the duo is a set of ghosts at the insistence of the Swamiji (Kota). The ghosts are spirits that enter the body of three persons. So, we have the pa-in-law of Bujji enter the body of Ramdass. Then we have the victim of a scooter accident (Anuraja Kamraj) and the lady love Alekya (Nikki Galram- into whose body we have a local goon). Then there is also the Telugu Pandit (Sangiti Murugan) who wakes from slumber as a ghost at convenient times since he knows more about the jewel than anyone else--dead or alive. There is the bad guys team headed by Tinkle Ramnath (Ramdas) who is eying the jewel with a group of blundering assistants. Add to this the crowning glory of Brahmanandam make a cameo appearance in the final moments.
While everyone does his bit of contributing to the right level of exaggeration and humour, Aadi underplays his role to a nicety. Even in minor roles we have the likes of MS Bhaskar giving the film sincere presence. The set of ghosts, specially Ramdas and Anuraja Kamraj, give the film some fine moments of humour without being comical. Daniel Pope moves beyond being just the predictable sidekick and carves a place of his own, parallel to the lead actor. This is a fun film without too much logic, without much ado and without hurting you. Go for it.