Bramma’s Magalir Mattum gives its women the opportunity to shine on screen and rarely do we come across filmmakers with such conviction. But Bramma’s Magalir Mattum may not be as impactful as his National award-winning film Kuttram Kadithal, and I’m glad it isn’t. It does go over the top at times and gets into the hamming mode of delivering a message. Jyothika, Bhanupriya, Urvashi, Saranya Ponvannan, the four of them embark on a road trip and it’s a journey of self-exploration and finding the freedom within. As Jyothika points out in a dialogue, the real freedom of women is not about walking alone at midnight; it’s about marrying the man of her choice and doing what she loves. The road trip is fun for most part but becomes unbearable in the second half, particular when it’s heading to the climax. It becomes unnecessarily melodramatic and that kills the whole purpose of the trip. The road trip stretch needed to be funnier and livelier.
However, it is not a documentation of them getting together to complain about their lives. Magalir Mattum is genuinely about these women. It goes beyond the men in their life, the dreams that have been buried or the sacrifices they have had to make. The main strength of Magalir Mattum is the empathy it invokes. Whether it is Gomata (Oorvasi), Rani (Bhanupriya) or Subbu (Saranya), their lives are stories we get to see in our families. But what is fascinating is Bramma’s pick of situations. The familial predicaments of these women are interestingly at odds. If Gomata’s problem is a dead husband and a son in a different country, Subbu and Rani’s qualm is the existence of their husbands. (Subbu has an alcoholic husband and in Rani’s case an indifferent one.) Bramma’s writing will bring flashes of conversations with women of your own family and that is a major asset for the movie.