Vyshakh's 'Madhura Raja' that featured Mammootty in the lead role hit the screens on April 12, 2019. As expected, the film is a high-voltage masala entertainer, and interestingly, the director has once again filled a bottle of old wine, not in a new bottle, but in a refurbished one.
This movie will be remembered by Mollywood audiences for two reasons. The first one being the obvious fact, Vyshakh is a master craftsman who is capable of making a watchable movie with a mediocre screenplay. The second reason is capable to make the eyes of Mollywood fans wet, Mammootty's stardom in the industry is at stake, and even when the actor easily portrays mass characters, its impact fails to reach the heart of the audiences.
A cliched and predictable storyline that offers no surprises
The film begins in the early 1990s where a liquor tragedy happens in a Vypin island. The liquor mafia in the area is controlled by VR Nadesan (Jagapathi Babu). After the brutal murder of a police officer, the film comes back to the present. Now, VR Nadesan is a highly influential personality in the area, and he owns, schools, hospitals, bars and what else. At this juncture, Madhura Raja's uncle (Vijayaraghavan) and father (Nedumudi Venu) comes to the village, and they fall in a legal trap set by VR Nadesan.
Soon Chinna (Jai) enters the scene, and he tries to protect both Vijayaraghavan and Nedumudi Venu. However, Chinna is not that powerful enough to lock horns with a dreaded don like Nadeshan, and this compels Madhura Raja (Mammootty) to enter the scene. From then on, the film witness high octane clashes between Raja and Nadeshan.
A good first half, lagging second half, and a touching climax
The first half of the film is well crafted by director Vyshakh. The director has cleverly used adequate doses of humor to glue the audiences in the theater seats until the 30th minute where Mammootty makes his grand entry. The laugh riot gets quadrupled when Mammootty enters the scene, but this smooth flow lasted only until the interval.
The initial moments of the second half seem disoriented, and there was a little lag too capable of pulling audiences to a state of boredom. However, the climax of the movie is heart touching, especially after that post-climax sequence that featured Jai.
Mammootty excels, but no impact on the audiences
Mammootty, as Madhura Raja did a fine job, and we cannot think of any other actor on his place. However, his mesmerizing screen presence and punch dialogues did not create any impacts on the audiences, and this was mainly due to the faltered screenplay that failed to establish a mass character properly in the minds of the audiences. Later, in the second half, Mammootty proved that he is undoubtedly the best performer when it comes to emotional scenes.
Tamil star Jai did a fine job as Chinna. Jagapathi Babu, once again reincarnated the role he did in Pulimurugan. Salim Kumar made everyone laugh with his unique dialogue rendering. However, the surprise package in this movie is the brilliant performance of Anusree as Vasanthi. The actress was literally at his best, and it was a sheer pleasure to see her on screen. Sunny Leone's item number was spectacular, and the actress received a big round of applause when she appeared on the screen.
'Madhura Raja' is a movie that solely depends on the star power of Mammootty. This movie may be a treat for Mammootty fans, but normal audiences may find it hard to enjoy the film in such a way that the director intended.