(P)REVIEW OF MAKHI (EEGA)
The much awaited Hindi dubbed version of Raja Mauli’s Telugu movie Eega (which was simultaneously released in Telugu, Tamil and Malayalam about 4 months back) is releasing next week as `Makhi’.
Lot of movies were made where actual or animated version of animals/birds/reptiles (like elephant, cow, goat, Dog, Pig. rat, rabbit, snake, falcon etc.) as the central character, but to imagine that someone could conceive and make a full length movie on an Eeega/Makhi (a House fly) is hard to believe. But the highly talented and bold director Raja Mauli (backed by Suresh naidu – son of legendary and Guinness record holder for highest number of films produced Rama Naudi) not only thought and took a bold step and pulled a fantastic and thoroughly entertaining movie which has all the ingredients of a commercial pot boiler viz., romance, rebirth/reincarnation, sentiments, emotions, actions/chases and lastly but most importantly `revenge’ all centered around Makhi. Being simple and down-to-earth, Raja Mouli in one of his recently interviews reveled that he got the idea of the movie while thinking of the irritation/inconvenience he used to face in his childhood on daily basis in the hands of Makhis while going out on to the fields/open areas in the morning to attend natural call. As the saying goes `great ideas come on the shit pot only'.
Makhi has a very simple love story of an ordinary and non-flamboyant hero (cutely played by Nani) falling in love with heroine (Samantha), enter the villain (Sudeep) and without wasting much of footage the villain kills the hero for coming between him and the heroin and no one knows about it. In a typical filmy fashion the hero incarnates to take revenge but here is the twist in the story - he reincarnates not as a human being but as a `Makhi’ . From here starts the creativity of Raja Mauli. The reincarnated Makhi makes a grand entry like a typical south india star (ala Rajni kant or Chiranjeevi), with a ground level Camera angle and huge sound effect. From there the roller coaster starts. He incorporated all important ingredients of humor (by the Makhi irritating first and then terrorizing the villain), romance between Heroine and the Makhi, actions/stunts with Makhi involving in a highway bond-type car chases, dances (taking off dance moment of Jr. NTR Allu Arjun etc. – I don’t know in the Hindi version take off from which popular Hindi movies will be used) sentiments and emotions when Makhi get caught and ultimately make supreme sacrifice of its life (like an Amitabh in Sholay) but not before killing the villain.
Apart from the concept and direction of Raja Mauli, the special effects team (Makuta Fx) is the real hero of this movie. Make an out and out Animation movie may not be that difficult but to have real life characters and animated characters simultaneously is a big challenge. First they made a very cute Makhi character so nicely and colourfully which helped in showing various shades of emotions with crystal clarity.
Coming to acting department, Sudeep (Kannada actor, who also plays very good cricket in Celebrity Cricket League) did a fantastic job, whether it is cruelty or humour on being traumatized by the Makhi, his body language and acting was superb and his expression have enhanced and magnified the role and character of Makhi and helped in Makhi becoming the hero of the movie. Again credit should go to Raja Mouli to conceive this idea of highlighting the character of a Makhi (with all the limitations) through the reactions of the villain. Considering that at the time of shooting there is no Makhi character around (which has been put by animation experts later on ) and Sudeep has to imagine that the Makhi character is around and emote, his acting is really praise worthy. Right from the first encounter of Sudeep and Makhi when he locks himself in a steam box to road accident to the climax his acting was of highest order. Samanta is gorgeous and her encounter with the hero first and Makhi later are pleasure to watch and Nani is very cute in his short and sweet role. It has a very pleasing music scored by Keeravani (a top Telugu music director who scored music for `Criminal’ and many other Mahesh Bhatt hindi movies) Senthil Kumar should bag few awards for his excellent cinamatography
Coming back to Raja mouli, after a string of big budget and mega successful movies with all the leading and top Telugu heros (including the original of Rowdy Rathore), and the then highest Telugu recording breaking grosser MAGADHEERA, everyone might have thought that he will come up with another big budget movie with another leading hero (every top Telugu star queue up to be casted by him), he did make a big budget `Makhi’ (reported to be at a cost of Rs. 30 crores – more than 80% going into the special effects), but not with any big stars but with animated character of Makhi. It really requires great amount of courage and conviction. One should also give big pat to the producer Suresh Naidu to pump in such huge amounts in such risky venture. The entire Telugu film industry has rallied around Raja Mouli by participating in film promotional programmes and the South Indian audiences have not disappointed them with movie becoming a huge hit in all the 3 languages and raking big mullah for the producers. In Hindi version Raja Mouli has already roped in Ajay Devgan and Kajol (also making the Makhi do the Ajay Devgan stunt of standing on two horses from his yet to be released Son of Sardar).
Like Rajnikant’s Rabot, this will be liked immensely by not only the kids but by all age-groups. So go with your children and revisit your childhood. You will be surprised to see such a neat, clean family entertainer after a very long time. I can put this experimental movie in the same league as Pushpaka Vimanam/Pushpak (a full length movie without dialogues), Appu Raja (for its special effects and very special acting by Kamal Hassan as ordinary hero and a dwarf), Chachi 420 (kamal Hassain doing a full length female role), Dasavataram (Kamal essaying 10 diagonally different characters including a Chinese American and a grand old lady) and the recently released Rabot (for its huge special effects)
7th October, 2012