Maarconi Mathaai movie cast: Vijay Sethupathi, Jayaram
Maarconi Mathaai movie director: Sanil Kalathil
Maarconi Mathaai movie rating: 1 star
Seasoned actor Jayaram plays kind-hearted Mathai in director Sanil Kalathil’s Maarconi Mathaai. Set in the backdrop of a scenic village in Kerala, the film sets out to tell a love story albeit through a radio show, which is hosted by a special guest, Vijay Sethupathi, who plays himself.
Mathai’s village Anjangadi is surprisingly untouched by the advancements of technology. It is a humble village where the main source of entertainment for its inhabitants are radio players with a government-run radio channel. Our hero sets up an antenna at the centre of the town that catches the airwaves of a private radio channel. He brought the radio waves to his village, and hence he is called Marconi Mathai, the prefix refers to Guglielmo Marconi, the father of the radio.
Mathai makes a living as a security guard of a cooperative bank in the village. He spends more time gardening on a balcony, listing to the radio, drinking alcohol, buying vegetables and sharing his beverages with others than guarding the cooperative bank. But, his employers are completely okay with his negligence for he brings joy and happiness to everyone’s lives. How come? Just by being a textbook people pleaser.
For 47 years, Mathai’s family or his friends did not care about him being single. And, they suddenly wake up to the harsh reality and decides to force him into marrying someone. For 47 years he did not fall in love with anyone after he failed in his first love, which happened to him when at school. But, suddenly his interest in romance is rekindled.
An old colleague of Mathai at the bank dies and a 20-something Anna (Athmeeya Rajan), who embodies the characteristics of ‘Loosu Ponnu’, is hired to fill the vacancy.
When an ex-military man, who is wise, kind and has years of experience in life, falls in love, you expect him to deal with his emotions in a more mature and direct way. But, Mathai turns into his 10-year-old self and sabotages it. He even runs away from his village. So much for a battle-hardened veteran. What happens next will blow your mind. The entire village blames Anna because a fully grown up man couldn’t handle his emotions in the right way. She is guilt-tripped into loving him.
Meanwhile, how does one justify as to why Vijay Sethupathi spent a whole week preaching sermons on ‘true love’ on a radio show promoting his Tamil film in Kerala? It just defies logic.
It is really baffling when a film such as Maarconi Mathaai, which boasts of such talented and experienced cast and crew, feels like a student project for a film school. It also feels like a desperate attempt to please the crowd by rehashing old tricks from the how-to-make-a-superficial-feel-good-film book.