Maharaja (2024): Nithilan’s Gritty and Grippy Thriller is masterpiece of screenwriting.

Maharaja (2024): Nithilan’s Gritty and Grippy Thriller is Masterpiece of Screenwriting.

Stop reading this review and throw yourselves into the nearest theatre of yours that is playing Maharaja. 

What a piece of writing! I will be honest. There will be movies after you finish watching them. You can’t easily get out of it. Honestly, I need time to process this masterpiece of screenwriting. 

‘Makkal Selvan’ (People’s Treasure) Vijay Sethupathi in his 50th movie, plays a meek mountainous Maharaja, a simple barber living his simple life. And, his life is turned upside down with an event. So, he is on the hunt for his lost ‘Lakshmi’. I don’t want to reveal anything that will definitely spoil the experience for you. Maharaja’s story is to be experienced, and not just merely be aware of the plot-line.  This turn-around is due to Selva, played by Anurag Kashyap. Perhaps, this must have been the most satisfying role for Kashyap to play.

The writing of Nithilan Swaminathan is splendid. The nonlinear structuring of the screenplay without revealing anything about the timelines and sequencing of the scenes is not merely a screenwriting red-herring technique. He had crafted the screenplay very meticulously. It is so perfectly done that we will be still wondering about the origins of ‘the lakshmi’, even though the film is nearing to an end. The knitting of all loose-ends by Nithilan at the end is nothing less than any craftsmanship of a perfectionist. I call him perfectionist because all the loose ends are not revealed neither by monologue nor by the montages. The knitting of loosends is slow, yet marvellously dropped at the necessary junctures. And, finally, the final picture is blown in front of you while you were busy being blown-away.

After watching his debut, Kurangu Bommai, and now Maharaja, he can definitely be crowned as Sreeram Raghavan of South-India. Infact, his artwork can be weighed more than Sreeram Raghavan, considering that Nithilan had done just two films. He is a genius. He is one of the most interesting filmmakers right now in India. 

The artistic merit of Nithilan isn’t only in his screenwriting, but also in the ethos and mileu of the story. From the last two years, the filmmakers seemed to be obsessed with world-building at large and Pan-Indian scale. From Bahubali and KGF to the recent Harom Hara, we are seeing this trend.Nitikan had already mastered world building with his debut Kurangu Bommai itself. There is alot of not-so-important yet essential information that needs to be given to the viewer to make him understand the world better. For example, we have no reason why we have a kitchen in a police station. It is very unusual to have a kitchen in a Police Station. But, it is telling something more about the world and the characters in that world. 

Maharaja is a must watch for anyone who is craving for a good cinema. Just don’t waste any more time. Go watch it, 

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