MAKKHI Movie Review: A fun film for children of all ages
Thursday, October 11, 2012 12:04:36 PM (IST)
Rajesh Kumar Singh, Bollywood Trade Editorial
MAKKHI is a children’s film. It has everything an Indian film is supposed to have - suspense, emotion, action, stunts, songs, dances, romance, herogiri, dadagiri, and comedy sans that pungent ingredient called sex. There is nothing complex about its story. It has a clearly defined hero, a heroine, and a villain. Everyone, newborn babies to octogenarians, can follow it without much cerebral gymnastics. It’s unpretentious ‘pure entertainment art’ borne out of the fertile and visceral imagination of a south Indian filmmaker whose sole, noble, and heartfelt objective is to please his audience to the best of his abilities. His honesty of purpose reflects copiously in his work.
A young guy called Nani (Nani) is in love with a girl in his ‘saamne vaali kihdki’ called Bindu (Samantha). She is a social activist and micro-artist (the ones who draw pictures on ‘chawal ke daane’ and make teeny-weeny artifacts). Nani has been pursuing her for two years. He is so much in love with her that he takes her apparent rejections as bright signs of her love for him. Before his love story reaches a satisfactory conclusion, enters the villain Sudeep (Sudeep), a rich and powerful builder who has this strange conviction that the female species cannot and must not resist his charms. By quirk of fate Bindu goes to see him to seek funds and support for her NGO. Sudeep likes this youthful yet simple beauty and wants to add her to the list of his countless conquests. The middle-class girl refuses to bite his baits. The fact is she loves Nani. When Sudeep learns about it, he has Nani picked up by his men. He tells him about his designs on Bindu and kills him brutally crushing him under his foot, like a fly. Nani, while dying, warns Sudeep that he will kill him if he touches Bindu.
Nani’s soul, driven by a strong urge to save the one he loved, transmigrates into a just laid egg of a fly. The egg turns into a pupa, and as it cracks open, emerges our hero Makkhi with an ardent yet onerous mission to save his love and kill the wily and murderous villain. Thus begins a war between a tiny fly driven by a righteous mission and his love, and an all-powerful villain consumed by his vanity and lust. And our tiny hero finally succeeds in his mission, saves Bindu and kills Sudeep, sacrificing himself for his love. If you want to know how does Makkhi do it, go and watch the film that is a testament to what a little yet determined and motivated fly can achieve if provoked.
Can we judge a child on parameters designed to evaluate adults? We cannot. We can only analyze this kind of cinema by the impact it has on the audience. If it wholeheartedly roots and cheers for the hero and his exploits, the film has achieved its artistic goals. If the hero of the film is an insignificant animated fly, it’s even more commendable. The beauty and appeal of this genre lies in its childlike, visceral, fantastic, fun-filled, and unpretentious nature. It's first-rate story telling with beautiful characterization. It’s heart-warming and an ode to noble qualities like selflessness, missionary zeal, pure love, and sacrifice. One of the high points of the film is Makkhi's parody of well-known dance moves of top-line Bollywood stars as its humble and touching tribute to them.
There is also a message in this story for sundry oppressors, tyrants, and goons. They must mend their unjust ways otherwise their sins and misdeeds will return to haunt, hound, and even kill them and they dare not take their insignificant looking opponents lightly. Ek machhar insaan ko hijda bana sakta hai, ek makkhi us ki jaan le sakti hai, ek cheetin haathi ko maar sakti hai, aur ek micro-virus Cancer aur AIDS jaisi jaanleva bemaariyan de sakta hai. So much content in a two-hour film; what else do you want?
The film was originally made in Telugu, and later dubbed in Tamil and Malyalam and has already grossed over 115 crores at box office worldwide. It has also been to film festivals like Sundance. The Hindi dubbed version is marketed and distributed by Reliance Entertainment. The entertainment conglomerate is so confident of the film’s success in the Hindi belt that it has been organizing previews for select audiences in major Bollywood territories. It’s a smart move that should bear sweet fruits in terms of generating positive buzz for the film prior to its release. I have a feeling that the film will be a big box office hit. If it succeeds in beating the ROBOT record, we will know that in the next few days. It’s certain MAKKHI will get a lot of positive word-of-mouth publicity and universal critical acclaim by film reviewers. How can you write bad things about an 'underdog' film that made you laugh so much? That will be ingratitude sir.
We give four stars to the film - for its brilliant idea and premise, its screenplay and direction, its animated hero Makkhi, and its over-all audience impact and appeal.
Rating - 4/5
(Rajesh Kumar Singh is Editorial Consultant for Festivals and Markets for BollywoodTrade.com. He is a filmmaker, critic and market analyst)
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