Roman Polanski, the acclaimed storyteller, once remarked: 'Cinema should make you forget you are sitting in a theatre.' S.S. Rajamouli's MAKKHI, the dubbed Hindi version of the Telugu blockbuster hit EEGA, does exactly that. Original, inventive, innovative and imaginative, MAKKHI raises the bar of films made in India.
Right from Bimal Roy's MADHUMATI and L.V. Prasad's MILAN to Subhash Ghai's KARZ, Chetan Anand's KUDRAT, Shakti Samanta's MEHBOOBA, Rakesh Roshan's KARAN-ARJUN, Sanjay Gupta's HAMESHAA and Farah Khan's OM SHANTI OM, reincarnation tales were all about the lead man getting reborn in human form. In fact, Rajamouli's historic hit MAGADHEERA [Telugu] also tackled the theme of reincarnation. But the acclaimed director gives a new spin to the reincarnation theme in MAKKHI. Nani, the lover boy, is reborn as a fly. That's where the film triumphs. It gives 'out of the box' phrase a completely new meaning!
At a time when most dream merchants in Bollywood are concentrating on mindless entertainers that kiss goodbye to logic, Rajamouli strikes the right balance between logic and entertainment in MAKKHI. The scale of the film is colossal, the plot is invigorating and the outcome leaves you mesmerized. Rajamouli targets not just the kids, but the kid in every adult and you can't help but root for the fly as it seeks vengeance from the cold-blooded and hardhearted assassin.
A technical wonder, the computer generated fly is, without doubt, the star of the show. And its creator, Rajamouli, a sheer genius for creating a film that sweeps you off your feet and leaves you awe-struck.
MAKKHI is the story of Jani [Nani] and Bindu [Samantha Prabhu], who are in love but never communicate their feelings to each other. Sudeep [Sudeep], a billionaire, gets attracted to Bindu and wants to possess her, but realizes she is in love with Jani, which upsets him. Ironically, the moment Bindu expresses her love to Jani, Sudeep murders him. Jani is reborn as a fly...
Unlike most times when I forewarn my readers to leave their brains at home, I'd like to pronounce that you need to wear your thinking caps while watching MAKKHI. Although the genre [reincarnation] is done to death, the writing takes the riskier route to woo the spectator. Expect no shortcuts here, expect no formulaic sub-plots that you generally associate with films of its ilk. MAKKHI is a completely new experience once the soul migrates into an unborn fly and the dance of revenge commences. An itsy-bitsy fly torments the baddie and how!
A number of sequences leave you tongue-tied and I would not like to play the spoilsport by revealing the gist. All I'd say is that MAKKHI is one roller coaster ride with no dull, tedious or mind-numbing moment. The highpoint is the concept: A tiny insect taking on a mighty human, sending shivers down his spine, first ruining his peace and later, existence. The writing is smart and clever, the episodes are ingeniously integrated in the screenplay and the culmination to the tale leaves you spellbound. I'd go the extent of saying that MAKKHI has an unfaultable start, immaculate middle and impeccable end, which is a rarity as far as Indian films go.
Technically speaking, MAKKHI is a marvel. The computer generated fly does everything that a human does, which includes the shortcomings as well. The graphic designers at Makuta VFX deserve brownie points for creating an insect that's immensely endearing and also enormously convincing as it takes on the antagonist. M.M. Kreem's musical score is just perfect. 'Arre Arre' is melodious and comes easy on the lips, while 'Naam Apun Ka Jani' is energetic and bouncy. The background score is electrifying. Cinematography [K.K. Senthil Kumar] is top notch. The frames are spectacular. The Hindi dubbing is near-perfect.
Sudeep is remarkable as the lecherous, merciless adversary. He's most menacing in a role that must've been a herculean task to accomplish. He had to react to a fly [which was non-existent while filming] and get the actions and reactions right. Samantha is wonderfully restrained, while Nani is charming in a brief but significant role.
On the whole, MAKKHI is a landmark film. You ought to watch certain films in your lifetime. MAKKHI is one of those films. For choosing a crackling idea, for executing it with panache and for taking Indian cinema to the next level, I doff my hat to you, Mr. S.S. Rajamouli.