Maamanithan (film)

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Maamanithan
Maamanithan (film).jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed bySeenu Ramasamy
Written bySeenu Ramasamy
Produced byYuvan Shankar Raja
Shan Sutharasan
StarringVijay Sethupathi
Gayathrie
Guru Somasundaram
Shaji Chen
Jewel Mary
Anikha Surendran
CinematographyM. Sukumar
Edited bySreekar Prasad
Music byIlaiyaraaja
Yuvan Shankar Raja
Production
company
YSR Productions
Distributed byStudio 9 Productions
Release date
  • 24 June 2022 (2022-06-24)
CountryIndia
LanguageTamil

Maamanithan (transl. Great Human) is a 2022 Indian Tamil-language drama film written and directed by Seenu Ramasamy[1] and produced by Yuvan Shankar Raja under his YSR Productions banner. The film stars Vijay Sethupathi, Gayathrie, K. P. A. C. Lalitha, Guru Somasundaram, Anikha Surendran, Jewel Mary and Shaji Chen.[2] In addition, Yuvan composed the soundtrack of this film along with his father, Ilaiyaraaja.[3][4] The cinematography and editing were handled by M. Sukumar and A. Seekar Prasad

The film was theatrically released on 24 June 2022 after being delayed for five years and received critical acclaim from critics and audience.

Plot[edit]

Radhakrishnan (Vijay Sethupathi) is a humble auto driver, who is sincere and extremely honest. He is content with his life which revolves around the auto, his wife Savithri (Gayathrie), and his 2 kids. His kids study in a government school, and he wishes to improve their standard of education by admitting them into a private school. To achieve this, he promises a real estate businessman Madhavan (Shaji) that he'll help him sell all the plots to his villagers, but gets cheated by Madhavan. The consequences he and his family face and the extent to which Radhakrishnan goes to find Madhavan forms the rest of the film.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

In April 2017, reports surfaced that Vijay Sethupathi had signed a new project with Seenu Ramasamy after the success of Dharma Durai (2016).[7] Seenu Ramasamy started writing the script for the project with a tentative title Maamanithan, with Yuvan Shankar Raja who earlier collaborated with Seenu in Dharma Durai and the unreleased film Idam Porul Yaeval, expressed his interest in producing the film apart from working on the film's music.[7] Later, Seenu also narrated the script to composer Ilaiyaraaja who also agreed to work with his son Yuvan.[2]

It was further reported that the film biopic of a popular leader who hails from the south Tamil Nadu region,[8] with Vijay Sethupathi playing a politician in the film,[9] however the team denied such claims. Seenu Ramasamy finished working on the script within May 2017, but shooting of the film delayed due to Sethupathi's commitments in other films.[8]

Casting[edit]

Samuthirakani was announced for a pivotal character in April 2018, who plays a straightforward villager in the film. Seenu Ramasamy revealed that "his character will be the silent type, with very little dialogue and there will be no pair for him in the film".[10] Though the film marked Samuthirakani and Seenu collaborating after Neerparavai (2012), the former did not confirm his presence in the film.[10] During the start of the shoot, Guru Somasundaram was announced a part of the pivotal cast, with Seenu stating his character as an important one which appears throughout the film.[11] Guru Somasundaram played the role of a Muslim in the film.[11]

Seenu also cast Gayathrie playing for another pivotal character. He stated that "her role is that of a young woman who has finished her 10th standard and has taken up teaching typewriting".[11] Other supporting casts include K. P. A. C. Lalitha, Shaji Chen, Jewel Mary.

Manasvi Kottachi was cast as Sethupathi's daughter. Anikha was cast in a supporting role.[12] During the schedule of Kerala, stills featuring Vijay Sethupathi and Malayalam actor Manikandan Achari went viral through internet, with the latter reported to play a supporting role in the film.[13] Vijay Sethupathi plays an auto driver hailing from a rural family in the film.[14]

Filming[edit]

The film's shooting began in Madurai with a formal pooja (prayer ceremony) on 15 December 2018.[15][16] The first schedule of the film began in Andipatti, near Madurai which took place for 20 days.[11] On 23 January 2019, the team headed to Kerala to shoot few major sequences for the film.[17] The Kerala schedule was completed in 13 days and the team shot few more sequences in Varanasi during early February and was wrapped on 12 February 2019.[18] The entire filming was completed in 37 days.[18]

Music[edit]

The film marked the first time collaboration of Ilaiyaraaja and his son Yuvan Shankar Raja working together.[19][20] Ilaiyaraaja's inclusion in the project was announced on 25 January 2018, when he was felicitated with Padma Vibushan by the Government of India,[21] Yuvan stated that the collaboration with his father and brother, made his "journey of a music director being meaningful and purposeful".[19][22] The film's director Seenu Ramasamy also thanked Yuvan for his initiative in bringing the Raja family collaborate on a project, in his interview with The Times of India.[19][23]

Recording for the film's soundtrack began during September 2019,[24] and completed in May 2020.[25] The album featuring five songs had lyrics written by Pa. Vijay and Palani Bharathi. Ilaiyaraaja took charge of recording the songs and film score, while Yuvan did the arrangements for the soundtrack.[26] The first single track "Thattiputta" was released by U1 Records on 7 April 2021, which had vocals performed by Ilaiyaraaja and written by Pa. Vijay.[27] Another song "Ye Rasa" was released on 28 May 2021, which also had a promotional video featuring Yuvan Shankar Raja.[28]

No.TitleLyricsSinger(s)Length
1."Thattiputta"Pa. VijayIlaiyaraaja3:28
2."Ye Rasa"Pa. VijayYuvan Shankar Raja4:04
3."Pannapurathu"Pa. VijayRaja Bhavatharini, Sriram Parthasarathy3:30
4."Enna Nadakkudhu"KarunakaranMuthu Sirpi2:51
Total length:13:53

Release[edit]

Theatrical[edit]

The film was scheduled for a theatrical release during September and October 2019,[29][30] but was delayed indefinitely due to a lawsuit filed against the producers by Jayaseelan who earlier registered the same title for his film. In March 2021, Seenu Ramasamy tweeted that Yuvan Shankar Raja had acquired the title rights from Jayaseelan and further stated that the promotions will begin for the film under the title Maamanithan.[31] The producers started negotiating with streaming platforms for a direct digital release, as theatres being shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[32] LetsOTT revealed that the film is scheduled for a digital release through ZEE5 which purchased the digital rights, although no official confirmation has been made by the producers.[33] The film was theatrically released on 24 June 2022.[34][35][36]

Distribution[edit]

Both the Tamil Nadu and the Kerala distribution rights of the film has been bagged by R. K. Suresh under the banner Studio 9 Productions.[37]

Home Media[edit]

The digital rights of the film has been acquired by Aha Tamil,[38] while the satellite rights of the film has been acquired by Zee Tamil.[39]

Reception[edit]

Srivatsan S of The Hindu after reviewing the film wrote "Just watch the man when he gets a meet-cute scene with Savithri or when he bursts out in anger at his to-be brother-in-law. Vijay Sethupathi makes it look genuine. Maamanithan is that script where both Sethupathi and Gayathrie do more for the film than what it does to them."[40] Karthik Keramalu of Firstpost after reviewing the film stated "The new troubles for Sethupathi and Gayathrie are a far cry from the ones they encountered in Naduvula Konjam Pakkatha Kaanom (2012). In the decade that has passed since then, they have grown as actors individually, and as an on-screen couple that we can all shower our love upon."[41] M Suganth of The Times of India gave 3.0 out of 5 stars and stated "Also, in these times when big-screen entertainment has largely come to mean action thrillers and fantasies, Maamanithan — a character-driven drama - does feel like the last of its species. And by the time that it ends, it turns into something more — a saga that is quietly affecting."[42]

Manoj Kumar R of The Indian Express rated 3 out of 5 stars stating that "Maamanithan is Seenu Ramasamy's meditation on life. And according to him, the man who knows to be content living on less is great."[43] Sudhir Srinivasan of Cinema Express gave 3.5 out of 5 stars stating that "The film is also a bit too keen to celebrate its protagonist as a selfless saint. Perhaps he is one, but it feels like there are other characters who deserve as much acknowledgement. Radhakrishnan's Muslim friend is a bit of a saint himself. And why, even Savithri, who has endured hardship all her life, has done a lot for their children. And yet, it feels like she doesn't quite get her due. But as I said, these are nuances, and in a film that never really has you riveted in its universe, does it matter? It's a pity because we don't get a lot of these films that speak of how greatness in our world is often found in the most unassuming of people, who quietly sacrifice themselves, so people around them can live better lives."[44] Janani K of India Today gave the film 2.5 out of 5 and stated "Overall, Maamanithan is a moving drama with its heart in the right place."[45] Soundarya Athimuthu of The Quint after reviewing the film stated that "Maamanithan has its heart at the right place for it instills hope in human relationships, explaining while there may be one or two who will cheat or hurt you, there will be dozens waiting to support and embrace you with love."[46] Indiaglitz gave the film's rating 3 out of 5.0 and wrote "Go for this one for the solid performances of the cast and the relatable story moments."[47]

Behindwoods rated 2.75 out of 5 and wrote "Maamanithan is a beautiful family drama, watch it for Ilayaraja - YSR's blissful music and the performances."[48] Hariharan Krishnan of Film Companion wrote "And then you have Somasundaram playing Ismail, Sethupathi's best friend and saviour of the abandoned family. Honestly what a relief it is to see a Muslim character given some importance in an Indian film. This kind of inclusivity had almost been given up as a lost cause. I sincerely hope that other filmmakers in the future take this lead and start developing more characters from the Muslim community. And then we have Jewel Mary playing Pilomy a tea vendor in the backwaters of Alleppey, who accommodates Radhakrishnan. What a radiant presence. She's one of the rare actors who just does not perform or exert herself to play her role. So, what could have been a well-crafted Hitchcockian drama of a small lower-middle-class family facing a crisis beyond their comprehension, loses track and becomes a rather confused affair. So, let's just blame it on the inconveniences caused by the pandemic of the last two years on a crew, which was ill-equipped also to handle their crisis, too."[49] India Herald rated the film 3 out of 4 and wrote "Maamanithan has a sense of being the last of its kind. When it finally comes to a finish, it evolves into something more—a narrative that is softly moving."[50]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Vijay Sethupathi's Maamanithan: Ilaiyaraaja, Karthik Raja and Yuvan to score music". India Today. Retrieved 17 December 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Will Vijay Sethupathi's new film reunite Ilaiyaraaja and Vairamuthu?". www.hindustantimes.com. 18 April 2017. Retrieved 17 December 2018.
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  4. ^ Siva (16 December 2018). "இளையராஜா, யுவன் கெரியரில் முதல் முறையாக நடக்கும் அந்த அதிசயம்". Retrieved 17 December 2018.
  5. ^ a b "Maamanithan - Official Teaser | Yuvan Shankar Raja, Ilaiyaraaja | Vijay Sethupathi | Seenu Ramasamy". YouTube.
  6. ^ "Kuttipuli actor turns director again - Times of India". The Times of India.
  7. ^ a b "Vijay Sethupathi and Seenu Ramasamy team up again". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 29 May 2021.
  8. ^ a b "Seenuramasamy, Sethupathi's next is a biopic on a leader - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 29 May 2021.
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  10. ^ a b "Samuthirakani will have no pair in Seenu's film - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 29 May 2021.
  11. ^ a b c d "Guru plays a Muslim in Vijay Sethupathi film - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 29 May 2021.
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  13. ^ "Vijay Sethupathi's Kerala fans go gaga over his simplicity - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 29 May 2021.
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  19. ^ a b c "Ilaiyaraaja, Karthik Raja and Yuvan, to make music together - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 29 May 2021.
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