Rangasamy aka Rangu (Antony), who lives on the foothills of the Western Ghats, wakes up early in the morning to go to his job– picking up cardamom from up the mountains and bringing it down to the village.
The daily routine of Rangu is shown to us for around 40 minutes and we get to know his colleagues, supervisor, estate owner, a tea vendor and an elderly man who relishes his past.
The aim of Rangu is to own a piece of land. In the meantime, he also enters wedlock with (Eswari) Gayathri and it is an unconventional marriage.
One day, Rangu’s hopes and dreams get shattered as the film shows how development also leads to the destruction of the life of a community.
Merku Thodarchi Malai, produced by Vijay Sethupathi and directed by Leninbharathi, is not exactly a feature film. It is a perfect marriage between a documentary, news report and movie.
It beautifully portrays the life of people living in the ghats and Leninbharathi has been provided an army of strength by Theni Eswar, whose visuals are outstanding and maestro Ilayaraja whose music breathes life into the story.
Performance wise, Antony has literally lived the character, while rest of the cast including Anthony Vaathiyar, Abu Valayangulam, Aarubala and Sornam have done complete justice to their respective roles.
On the flipside, the director takes his own time to establish the story and the characters. Also, the film moves on a snail’s place. However, for those who enjoy movies which portray real life and convey a message, Merku Thodarchi Malai is going to be a great product.
Rating: 3 out of 5
Merku Thodarchi Malai : Caught in ghat
Producer – Vijay Sethupathi
Music – IsaignaniIlayaraja