Madha Review & Rating
Madha Review: Director's Dream - Movie Buff's Delight
The premise (Rasas and colors)
Each of the Nava Rasas elicits a reaction from the targets. Take, for example, Hasya. The reaction to Hasya is laughter. The reaction to Karuna is sympathy. The reaction to Bhayanaka is Fear (to be exact, terror). Each Rasa according to the experts can be associated with a colour. It seems that consciously or unconsciously, knowingly or unknowingly, the director of this film Madha has painted the big screen canvas with dark colours.
Unsurprisingly, Madha (means madness, in this sense) has three rasas in the forefront. Sympathy. For the lead character for the most part. Nisha is an orphan after all. Terror. The experiences the lead character goes through for the majority of the second half. And then disgust (is the result of Bheebhatsa rasa) in certain portions for obvious reasons. The situations the lead character is put into. Who, on their right brain (deliberately used), bear with watching a seemingly innocent girl is being tortured endlessly by some... in an asylum? Jugupsa. Right?
The Colors associated with each of these rasas are: Grey (for Karuna), Black (Bhayanaka), and Deep Blue (Bheebhatsa). And these Colors dominate the others (even blood is shown in darkest of dark brown shade) in this film. Which is a world in itself. Do you know Sergey Parajanov? The great Armenian filmmaker of the yore (his most famous film is The Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors). He and his admirers approach Cinema primarily as a visual medium rather than as a narrative tool.
The great man also uses Colors to bring me motions in the audience. Colors are also part of his visual narration. In Madha too, Colors play a very important role in the creation of atmosphere (and hence mood), and even narration. Each of these darkest colours plays an important role in moving the plot of the film in a subconscious level. So, just understand that this film is not for the laymen audience. It is primarily aimed at those who deal with art at a cerebral level than... okay! Otherwise.
The world of Nisha
Let’s jump into the story of the film. Nisha, as we have already established, is an orphan. She works as a proofreader in an agency. She loves to lead her life on her own like every person with self-respect. As expected a girl of proper age and is independent should fall in love. His name is Vikram. First, she gets introduced to him. Then slowly love blossoms between them. But to move the plot of the film forward, he leaves her and vanishes from her life. No. He doesn’t apparently cheat her. He just goes in a sudden work. And she doesn’t know it. Not even the audience for that matter ;-).
All of a sudden, Nisha experiences a few terrors through unexpected happenings around her. She becomes, well... and her odd behaviour creates trouble around her.
On the other side of this plot is a doctor who is experimenting in an isolated building which is on the outskirts of the city. Or the world of Nisha. Meanwhile, Nisha is admitted in a mental asylum for her odd behaviour becomes quite obvious to those around her. But all this for real? Or is she framed by someone? To add to our curiosity, a certain Mr. Gopal who is one of the watchmen/security in the hospital takes pity on her and tries to help her. But all comes in vein. What is this all about?
Is it a mad delirium of Nisha? Or is this some sinister plot orchestrated by someone devilish? Or there is other conspiracy around all this? How’s the doctor related to all this? Of all people why this watchman takes interest in her to give a helping hand? How come Vikram whom she loved and got reciprocated left her in her most trying situation? Watching Madha gives answers to all these questions and some.
Is this film worth a watch?
SPOILER: If not for that, we wouldn’t have been reading this review for this review writer wouldn’t have written it. The question here is, to whom this film belongs? And how it connects to the target audience. And the perusal of this filmmaker’s work which is really curious to begin with.
Visuals and direction
Srividya Basawa is a highly talented technician. The way she constructed her own mad mad world is nothing short of admirably amazing. She must also have a tinge of madness. Not ordinary persons travel with a story of this magnitude and scope for so long and bring it to the screen. And to create such an atmosphere without compromise needs more than just a strong will. Saludos!
Srividya’s vision is brought into reality for the most part so successfully. The narration of the film is mostly visual except for those so-called lectures mostly to brief the audience rather than the players of the world of the film about the proceedings/happenings in the world of Madha. And also to guide them through the labyrinthine paths the narration takes. The visuals are stunningly presented. The screenplay is quite good. As written earlier in the review, the way the filmmaker used colours also speaks a lot.
Coming to the actors, Rahul Venkat got a crucial role but with limited scope. He did well. Anish Kuruvilla who is nowadays used for Certain kind of roles is given another vital part and he makes his presence felt. Appaji Ambareesha as the doctor is neat in a smaller role. Ravi Varma as the (sub) inspector is good in his few scenes. Bikramjit Kanwar is also decent in his role which plays an important role in the film.
The music by Naresh Kumaran is fantastic. It has not just complemented the visuals and narration, it also elevated the scenes where the director was found lacking (see, this is first attempt and a film of this scope is really tough to handle). The silences are also used in just the right amounts like homoeo pills ;-).
The cinematography by Abhiraj Nair is terrific. The world as envisioned by the filmmaker Srividya is created with every possible detail. The art department has done a stunning job. The production values are first-rate. Indira Basawa deserves all the admiration for her will to support the director. Technically, Madha is one of the best films in the last couple of years. The filmmaker proves herself to be one of the kind talents. My head is reeling with the pleasure of discovering a brilliant filmmaker since getting introduced to Venu Udugula (Needi Naadi Oke Katha exactly a couple of years ago).
If Srividya Basawa is the brains behind the film, actress Trishna Mukherjee is the body and soul. Using any adjective to talk about her performance - especially in the expression of her agony and fears - is futile. She's a gem of a find for the industry and should seriously be considered for strong roles. A director's delight of an actress. Writing more about her performance may seem redundant. Okay! Adding one adjective. AMAZING!
Madha is certainly not a film for everyone. And not intended for everyone. But those who it is aimed at will certainly have an amazing cinematic experience for sure. Yes. There are a few flaws like slowish narration here and there. But it can be brushed off for the fantabulous experience the film offers. Highly recommended.
- The genre and the making
- Terrific direction
- Intriguing narration
- Top class performance by Trishna
- Technically superlative
- The visuals are... class apart
- Strictly for a niche audience
- A few lags here and there
Pycker Rating: 3 out of 5
Reviewed by: GitacharYa
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