Going back in time

An unlikely couple is struggling to beat the odds.

Image Credit: Supplied
e+

Madharasapattinam
Cast Arya, Amy Jackson, Nasser
Director AL Vijay
Rating TBA

Tamil movies, with the exception of a few like Veerapandiya Kattaboman, have shied away from tackling stories about the colonial rule in India.

Now, AL Vijay tackles this in Madharasapattinam. The movie dates back to the time when the Indian city of Chennai was called Madharasapattinam or just Pattinam (city). The story takes place just before India's independence, in Vannarapettai or Washermanpet, an area in Chennai inhabited by dhobis (laundry washers). When one of them, Parithi (Arya), who is also a popular wrestler, falls in love with Amy, a British girl (Amy Jackson, who won Miss Teen World in 2008), there's sure to be fire and war.

Tamil star Arya hopes that Madharasapattinam will help lift his career that became stagnant after Sarvam. Admittedly, his earlier Naan Kadavul was a big hit, but Sarvam played spoilsport. Arya says he had to work hard on his physique to look like a wrestler-dhobi. "I had to study washermen's mannerisms."

Vijay, who won kudos for films set in Chennai (Kireedam and Poi Solla Porom, which was remade in Hindi as Khosla ka Ghosla), is eager to prove that he can tackle any genre.

He adds that a lot of money went into recreating the Chennai city of the 1940s. "We had to replicate tramcars. We based our sets on black and white pictures of that time. A lot of research was conducted before we approved the final sets."

With several songs (the dhobis sang, but of course, when they washed clothes on the river bank) penned by N Muthukumar and set to music by GV Praksah, Madharasapattinam promises to enthral us.

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