Abrid Shine's 'Mahaveeryar', which hit theatres on July 21, is winning praise from several corners. The movie, based on writer M Mukundan's story, is being lauded for its satirical approach to a socially relevant issue. Impressed, several authors recently took to Facebook to appreciate the 'Action Hero Biju' director for aptly capturing the essence of Mukundan's story onscreen.
‘Mahaveeryar’ has done justice to Mukundan’s story, says Sara Joseph
“The remedy for any disease a king suffers - be it a hiccup, graft or rape - are the tears of his subjects,” says noted novelist Sara Joseph after watching the latest Nivin Pauly-Abrid Shine movie ‘Mahaveeryar.’
“Law enforcers, the courts and the entire administrative system are duty-bound to fulfil the wishes of the ruler in a monarchy as well as democracy,” says Sara Joseph.
Writer M Mukundan has employed powerful political satire by highlighting the king’s desire to taste the tears of his subjects, she adds. “Similar to ‘Dharmapuranam’ by O V Vijayan, Mukundan’s story also ridicules abuse of power,” she says.
“Mukundan often mentions the word ‘Emergency’ in his story. This could be related to the era in which it was written,” Sara Joseph observes.
Several good movies have been made in Malayalam based on literature. In world cinema, some films have even excelled the literary works from which they derived the plot.
“It is not an easy task to successfully adapt a literary creation into a movie. When Abrid Shine transformed Mukundan’s ‘Kanneer Kadha’ into ‘Mahaveeryar’, he utilised tools from the story itself. We notice that Abrid Shine has undertaken a long journey from the wine-loving royal priest to the philosophical genius of Apoornananda, from the wish of the king to enjoy tears to the remedy for his hiccups and from the royal palace to a modern-day court. All this has been achieved by Abrid Shine, who also penned the script, without losing a sense of humour,” says Sara Joseph.
An eternally relevant issue presented beautifully: Benyamin
Noted writer Benyamin too has praised the Nivin Pauly-Abrid Shine film. “I watched ‘Mahaveeryar’ today. A maharaja wielding unlimited powers being subjected to a court trial has always been a relevant issue, and it has been presented beautifully in the movie,” he said.
“Thank you, M Mukundan, Abrid Shine, Nivin Pauly, Asif Ali, Siddique,” Benyamin added.
Cross-pollinating between literature and films: N S Madhavan
Cross-pollinating between literature and films was a long-time thing in Malayalam. But that wasn’t happening much recently. M.Mukundan’s story made into the film #Mahaveeryar does that again. Watch it! (Now in theatres) It’s funny, quirky and triggers a few thoughts, wrote N S Madhavan on Twitter.
Congrats Abrid Shine, M Mukundan, Nivin Pauly: T D Ramakrishnan
“I went to watch ‘Mahaveeryar’ on the first day of its release in theatres itself as the movie is based on a story by M Mukundan,” says novelist T D Ramakrishnan. “Mukundettan’s talent to tell a story and interestingly is amazing. It is a marvellous political satire, and Abrid Shine has done a great job,” he adds.
Ramakrishnan wonders whether the fun element has been elevated a notch higher at some moments in the movie. “I also feel that the time travel could have been more convincing,” he adds.
Still, actors such as Nivin Pauly, Asif Ali, Lal and Siddique have enacted their roles very well, opines Ramakrishnan. “Congratulations, Abrid Shine, M Mukundan, Nivin Pauly,” he says.
A great film of ‘absurd’ genre, says Ranjan Pramod
‘Mahaveeryar’ has opened up the possibilities for new sentimentalism in Malayalam films, feels noted screenwriter and director Ranjan Pramod. “Such movies often come up in world cinema but are very rare in Malayalam,” he says.
“Malayalam movies have swept the audience off their feet across India with films portraying ‘realism’, which we have nicknamed ‘nature films’. Such movies have always been our strength. However, Abrid Shine’s ‘Mahaveeryar’ has jolted Malayalees - who have traditionally taken realism for granted – out of their deep slumber,” feels Ranjan Pramod.
“’Mahaveeryar’ could be termed as a movie which wakes up a sleeping person and asks him, ‘you idiot! Were you sleeping?’ It has a humour sense which needs a salute,” opines the screenwriter.
Ranjan Pramod also says that the movie isn’t a ‘Fantasy, Time Travel, Time Loop.’ “There is nothing intriguing about ‘Mahaveeryar.’ It is a simple comedy as well as a total political movie. Viewers would benefit if they went to watch the film after realising its genre,” he adds.
“In fact, the film belongs to the artistic category of ‘absurd.’ Those wishing to learn more about this genre can search for ‘Theatre of the Absurd’ on the Internet. There are several classics and masters in this genre,” says Ranjan Pramod