Nine years after ‘Pokkiri raja‘ , Director Vysakh team up with Mammootty and Udayakrishna for Madhuraraja with Mammootty reprising his role as the titular character. The commercial-hit maker, Udayakrishna spins this story catering to Mammootty fans waiting to see him in a larger-than-life avatar.
Pambinthuruth island needs their super heroMadhuraraja, when liquor baron Nadeshan makes their hometown island his venue of crime. Though Chinna raja (Jai) is sent to contain a skirmish in the island things spiral our of his control and Madhuraraja needs to come to save the day.
The film starts with promise. Though Mammootty, as Madhuraraja, takes a while to show up on screen, when does he does so with quite a splendor. Salim Kumar as novelist Ezhuthachan Alias Manoharan is reminiscent of the old Salim Kumar who cracked us up with his wise repartee. A Salim Kumar who had been missing for quite a while. The much touted Sunny Leone comes in as the main dancer to a song, dances quite well, and is never heard of or seen in movie ever again. Gopi Sundar’s music is vibrant, catchy and complements the narrative quite well.
In the second half the narrative explores a slightly political and social trope. Kudos to the attempt, but Udayakrishna doesn’t exactly meet the standards of political commentary an average Malayali is used to, thanks to Renji Panicker in the 90s and Murali Gopy henceforth. In short, Udayakrishna’s political commentary seems half baked and forced. Madhuraja is a celebration of the megastar’s masochism. So, the narrative hardly gives any other character a chance to expand, let alone any female character. All the other characters, even Jai, winds up a prop.
Madhuraja is everything they promised it would be. It’s has ample over-the-top action choreographed by Peter Hein, the Megastar in a larger-than-life avatar, his slapstick comedy, and a dance-song by Sunny Leone. What it lacks in story and depth it makes up with the aforementioned. And, last but not the least, Madhuraja closes with a promise of a sequel, ‘Minister Raja’ where Madhuraja has becomes a minister of the state.