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Maavaadu Review

Can watch again
Good for kids
Good for dates
Wait to rent it
Several people will feel concerned if at a meal you suddenly start inhaling rapidly through your mouth, drinking a lot of water, and thumping the centre of your head, exclaiming how extremely spicy the dish in front of you is. And if you do this after tasting the dish, they will even think you are normal.

Pious young priest Vasu (Simbu) however has problems of the opposite nature - he has never tasted salt or chilli or any spice in his entire life. This leads to various problems - small ones such as just not getting the point behind Gandhi's whole salt satyagraha thing, to big ones such as not realizing the reason women were created. Of course, women were created to serve as beacons to help the world progress and evolve and all that, but we are referring to the real reason here.

Anyway, strutting around half-naked in the temple with a buff body, he becomes a major distraction to all young and not-so-young women who have come to pray to pay for their sins, but who are now willing to pay to pray there, and commit one more. Leading the pack is Janaki (Sana Khan), who, frustrated by his non-existent libido thanks to his super-satvic diet, ties an amulet to his arm to help him discover his virility.

This has spectacular results and he soon starts behaving like a prime horse on steroids the moment he sees any female skin, and it takes half the village to control him. But this is the smaller problem - the bigger problem, the villagers soon discover, is that it takes more than a whole village to control him when he is angry.

So how come a docile and painfully timid priest whose diet has no hormones at all can turn so viciously and uncontrollably mad and violent? Is it because he is schizophrenic? Is it because he is possessed? Is it because he was forced to read the entire script of this movie? Well, the answer is that he might have been brought up to be a priest, but his father Samba (Simbu again) was a brutal warlord, and the same blood flows in his veins.

Like we at always say, you can't control whose blood flows in your veins, but that doesn't change how much of it is needed for a blood test. If that did not make much sense, well, the good news is, the movie does. It is so simple, it makes sense even to someone who cannot count the fingers on his right hand and come up with the same number twice. If you are searching for class or depth or layers, you'll find more of it in a Standard III textbook.

Maavaadu is a Tamil film dubbed into Telugu with such sad lip sync, you think Tamilians normally speak without their lip movement matching what they are saying. And it is shot in rural Tamil Nadu with extreme nativity - thinks men's striped shorts routinely showing under their upper wraparounds - which means you'll be highly embarrassed to be watching it anywhere outside of Tamil Nadu. Plus, it has an overdose of that ridiculous concept found only in Tamil and Telugu films - one man beating up armies of people. Sure, it's a mass movie made for Tamil audiences - well, it should have stayed that way, instead of releasing here and getting reviewed by us.

Simbu is his usual self - expressive and energetic. Sneha, too, is seasoned and sleepwalks through her role, while Sana Khan fills in the opening for flesh. The latter is actually representative of such shameless scripting - there isn't even a gracious ending to that track with Vasu falling in love, marrying her etc. She is basically there to show skin in the songs.

Some of the songs (by Yuvan Shankar Raja) are hip, both to hear and to watch, in a saving grace for the movie, and with Simbu being a star, the film looks as sleek as it can given the rural setting. Still, Maavaadu is as cool as its thoroughly innovative title suggests. Watch this with your entire family, to do a dry run of how you'll always stand by each other in tough times.
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