‘Michael Madana Kama Rajan’ turns 30: A “critical” look at this beloved Kamal Haasan-Singeetham Srinivasa Rao-Crazy Mohan comedy

Posted on October 17, 2020



In which I compare ‘MMKR’ with ‘Apoorva Sagodharargal’ (with good reason, I hope), come down hard on Madan, and wish for more of Raju and Kameswaran.

Michael Madana Kama Rajan, which turns 30 on today, is one of those gifts that keeps on giving. Let’s begin with screenwriter Kamal Haasan and his Kamal-isms. This is the story of four brothers: if you note the company sticker on a car, it says “Sri Ramajayam”, and what is that epic if not the story of… four brothers. (Some of this is discussed in the video below.) And these are identical-looking quadruplets, which means we also get several identical-looking scenarios. The now-legendary “meen” (fish) stretch that introduces the now-legendary Kameswaran is matched with a situation where Manorama tells Madan that her daughter (Rupini) makes a mean meen kuzhambu. Another echo with Manorama: she is introduced in the garb of a widow, which is a match with Urvashi’s kleptomaniac grandmother (an ass-kicking SN Lakshmi). Raju is into Tamil theatre, as are the Manorama/Rupini characters.  There’s even a bit of mathematical matching, with the numbers 6 and 25. Avinashi (Nagesh) embezzles Rs. 25 lakh, of which he “returns” Rs. 6 lakh. Raju borrows a mere 6 thousand, which has now ballooned, with interest, to 25 thousand. You could go on.

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Posted in: Cinema: Tamil