Story & Narration
Technical Aspects & Music
A compelling musical drama that hits the right notes!
STM is an impressive, genuine musical drama that plays out sweetly from start to finish. Rajiv Menon shows great skill and maturity in clubbing a carnatic music background with caste issues to bring out a solid film.
Cast: GV Prakash, Aparna Bala, Nedumudi Venu, Vineeth, Kumaravel, Divyadarshini & others
Music: AR Rahman
Cinematography: Ravi Yadav
Written & Directed by: Rajiv Menon
Produced by: Mind Screen Cinemas
Distributed by: Sakthi Film Factory
Release Date: 01-02-2019
Run Time: 02:11:00
Films which deal with caste issues generally tend to take a dig at the upper groups in order to prove equality, or sometimes just for fun. Thankfully so, Rajiv Menon’s comeback film in Sarvam Thaala Mayam shies away from any such activity and presents an impressive musical drama that plays out sweetly from start to finish. Credit to his knowledge of the contrasting musical scenes, and also the maturity with which he handles his plot to bring out a solid film on the whole.
Instead of telling his story through plain dialogues, Rajiv Menon takes the path less travelled to pave way for an interesting narrative pattern loaded with set-pieces that get across the core message beautifully. Though he does put his head down to clichés at few places, the overall effect that the film gives us feels real and true. The director does not take sides or force anything, for even when he has to portray his protagonist as a die-hard fan of Thalapathy Vijay, things are smooth. There are little or no complaints in the first half, which introduces us to the plot nicely and sets up the stage. It is only when the actual hurdles come up does the film lose a little bit of steam, but the way it has been put together will definitely work with the majority.
GV Prakash comes in as a youngster who has a never-ending account of love for music, but is confined to his world so much that he doesn’t even get to lay hands on the mridangams that his father manufactures. It is only a chain of lovely events that lead to GVP meeting the master Nedumudi Venu, who refuses at first but then allows him enter the greener side. It is this changeover process that Rajiv handles so well, which will be the main reason to escape from some dangerous debates in the near future. Thereon, the film takes a lot of turns on the journey – some real good and some just good. On the acting front, this is yet another proud badge that GVP can hold up after Naachiyaar. Being a composer himself must have been one of the pros of sliding into this script easily, and he takes the opportunity and puts up a good show. On the other hand is the effortlessly excellent Nedumudi Venu, who is a serious contender for the National Awards next year. Aparna Balamurali gets to be a part of a fairly engaging love track, while Kumaravel is apt playing the role of GVP’s father. Vineeth and Dhivyadarshini are decent additions to the cast overall.
The film’s big plus is its music by AR Rahman, who with his world famous skills, takes up the product much higher than what it actually is. Right from the title sequence, his work provides the best possible score to the proceedings. The cinematography and the editing work is neat, and does not prove any negatives to the film.
Toting up, Sarvam Thaala Mayam is an emotional musical drama which fills in the space which was left empty in Tamil cinema for a while. Despite a few rough edges like the convenient reality show episodes, the film’s purity and attention to truth are its biggest positives, and that’s where Rajiv Menon proves that he is in form even after a long, long gap.