Magamuni movie review: Arya shines in an innovative take on karma and redemption
Cast: Arya, Mahima Nambiar, Induja, Illavarasan, Aruldoss and Kaali Venkat
Magamuni, from writer-director Santhakumar, is the most exciting film Arya has headlined in a long time and one that lets him reinvent and shine like never before. Eight years since he made a splash with his debut film Mounaguru, Santhakumar makes a solid comeback with Magamuni, a slow-burning revenge thriller that offers an inventive take on karma and redemption, and mostly makes for an engrossing watch in spite of its slow narrative.
The film tells the tale of two people – Maga and Muni and both the roles are played by Arya. Maga is a hitman and he specializes in plotting plans to gangsters to kill people. Muni, on the other hand, is a pious school teacher who is practicing Brahmacharya.
While Maga moonlights as a hitman and a call taxi driver, Muni finds solace in taking care of his mother and teaching kids from backward communities. At some point, their worlds collide and it unravels some secrets that make Magamuni not another ordinary tale of revenge, but one that’s layered in its storytelling and packed with a lot of surprises.
Santhakumar’s writing is his strength and you can’t ask for a better comeback. Magamuni deals with karma and redemption, but unlike how these themes are usually dealt in mainstream Tamil cinema, Santhakumar handles it all with sensibility. As a viewer, it takes time to warm up to Magamuni, which tests one’s patience at many places. Nevertheless, it’s not a film that gets boring, and Arya as Maga holds your attention with one of his better performances.
In Magamuni, Arya is a revelation with his performance. As Maga, a rowdy, you don’t get to see him being aggressive and loud. He’s mostly quiet, minding his business and he’s very expressive, especially with his eyes - a trait that has not been utilised fully so far in his career. Even when he doesn’t speak, his eyes have so much to express. As Muni, Arya delivers a much understated performance and it’s quite gutsy of him to choose such off-beat roles and prove himself all over again.
Magamuni will go down as one of the best works of Arya but the film belongs to Santhakumar, his ideologies and writing. It’s amazing how he brings in a very interesting allegory on spiritualism and karma in a simple tale of revenge.
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