Sathyaraj once said this on stage ” Don’t film a political satire if you don’t have the guts to go all out”. A satire should never hold back. Mandela stays true to the words of satire king of the 90’s. There are so many things to relish about the film.
A perfect rural film , a film which talks about the higher caste, lower caste division that still plagues our society, a film which gives us yet another version of the rise of the underdog. All of this rolled into one and neatly packaged. It’s quite an impossible task but Madonne Ashwin pulls it off.
One more aspect that lured me towards the film is the unconventional choice of actors. Yogi Babu and Sheela Rajkumar are show stealers. Yogi Babu gives his 200 percent to make the role very memorable. You start rooting for the man right from the start. The film and the character will stand the test of time. Sheela Rajkumar is a very reassuring presence.
After a point it feels like you are almost living with those characters. Every character is relevant and the actors have all given their best. Beyond Nelson Mandela and Thenmozhi my favourite is Sangili Murugan. It felt good to see a person in a wheel chair dictate terms.
One fear that I had while watching the film was the fear of an Anti-climax. I was so worried about Mandela’s fate. Thankfully the conclusion was gratifying.
Madonne Ashwin is another unique voice in Tamil cinema who deserves a red carpet welcome.
Hoping for more such films from him in the future.
I had only two films in the list of favourites as far as political satire is concerned – Amaithi Padai and Annanuku Jay. Now Nelson Mandela too joins the list.
PS : Andha velai mudi for the heroine is a nice touch. Brought a smile to my face.