The film is a love letter to the late Jayalalithaa who is arguably one of the greatest politicians of her time.
It starts with the powerful scene where Jayalalithaa, the Leader of the Opposition and the first woman in the state of Tamil Nadu to occupy that post, was assaulted in the Legislative Assembly.
Her fierce pledge to return to the assembly only after she becomes the CM shows the audience exactly what kind of a determined, fearless woman they are about to get to know.
Thalaivii depicts the life of Jaya from the time she was 16, a young girl who left her education for her mother wanted to pursue an acting career, her rise to the top of her career, her love for her mentor the legendary M.G. Ramachandran to her journey as a politician, going from hating politics to rising in the ranks to become the face of her political party and ultimately “Amma” for her devoted followers.
Kangana being kangana hits the nail on the head with yet another praise worthy performance. She goes from a playful, mouthy 16 year old to authoritative state leader at 44. There are moments in the film where she mimics Jayalalitha’s mannerisms to the dot and you are once again reminded why kanagana is one of the most celebrated artists of our time.
Arvind Swamy is another gem and we hope to see more of him in Hindi cinema. He plays the nuanced character of the celebrated MGR with absolute perfection. Someone who is aware of his god like status, is kind of heart and yet is willing to sacrifice his love for his power.
Raj Arjun is another name that truly keeps the film going. His blind love for MGR and his conflicts with anything and anyone including Jaya whom he assumes to be a threat to the stature of MGR are the backbone of the story.
The entire cast does a commendable job to support the story quite well though in what universe does, Bhagyashree look like Kangana’s mother is beyond comprehension.
Director Vijay takes on the herculean task of brining to life one of India’s most beloved political figures. While he mostly does a good job, there were so many incidents to cover that sometimes it does feel disconnected and a tad bit melodramatic.
A huge shout out goes to the art department for the beautiful era setting. Not to mention Neeta Lulla brings the yester year fashion in full swing with her costume design.
Music of the film is quite a let-down, except for the song Chali Chali there is not a single song you will remember after stepping out of the theater.
Overall Thalaivii is definitely an enjoyable experience for the theater starved audience.