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Maharaja Movie Review: Vijay Sethupathi Shines in This Gripping Story of a Desperate Father!

Director Nithilan Swaminathan, who made his directorial debut in 2017 with the critically acclaimed crime thriller “Korangu Bommai,” returns to the big screen after seven years with “Maharaja.” This film marks a significant milestone as it is Tamil star Vijay Sethupathi’s 50th film. “Maharaja” is another thriller, but it stands out due to its unique narrative and compelling performances.

The Intriguing Plot:

“Maharaja” revolves around the titular character, a humble barber played by Vijay Sethupathi. His life is a study in simplicity, dominated by two primary concerns: his daily duty of cutting hair and his unwavering dedication to his daughter, Jothi (played by Jothi). His routine is monotonous but stable, revolving entirely around his job and caring for his daughter, who is a budding sports champion at her high school. Jothi looks up to her physical education teacher (played by Mamta Mohandas), who serves as a major source of encouragement. The relationship between the father and daughter is uniquely heartwarming, with Jothi often taking on the role of the caregiver, reflecting a deep bond between them. One charming aspect of their life is their shared affection for a dustbin they lovingly call ‘Lakshmi’. Also Read- Vijay Sethupathi Heartbroken Over Super Deluxe’s Oscars Snub

Despite their seemingly idyllic life, things take a dramatic turn when Maharaja finds himself at the police station, demanding to file an FIR for the theft of ‘Lakshmi’. The police dismiss his request as trivial, but Maharaja is adamant. He wants his Lakshmi back, and he won’t leave the station until the matter is resolved. This seemingly absurd premise sets the stage for a deeper, more complex story.

Slow-Burning Thriller:

Nithilan Swaminathan crafts “Maharaja” as a slow-burning thriller. The first half introduces numerous characters who initially appear to be irrelevant. However, as the story progresses towards intermission, it becomes clear that there are larger forces at play. The second half is where the narrative truly shines, as the various threads begin to interweave, revealing the reasons behind Maharaja’s determined quest to retrieve Lakshmi.

Engaging Yet Flawed:

While “Maharaja” is an engaging story, it is not without its flaws. The non-linear narrative can be confusing for viewers who do not pay close attention. It is not a straightforward crime thriller, which works both to its advantage and detriment. The film throws in several red herrings and intricate subplots that keep the audience guessing and engaged, eager to piece together the puzzle.

Interestingly, the women in the film, although having smaller roles, are crucial to the story’s progression. The heart of the film lies in the father-daughter relationship, which resonates emotionally with the audience, prompting reflections on their own familial bonds.

Standout Performances:

Vijay Sethupathi delivers a standout performance as Maharaja. His portrayal is realistic and deeply emotional, making it easy for the audience to connect with his character. The nuanced changes in Maharaja’s demeanor throughout the film are well-executed by Sethupathi, a testament to both his acting prowess and the director’s writing.

An unexpected highlight of the film is Anurag Kashyap, who delivers a strong performance as a common man with different shades. It is refreshing to see Kashyap in a role that diverges from his usual portrayal of cops or villains. His performance adds depth and intrigue to the film.

Supporting actors Natty, Mamta Mohandas, and Abhirami also deliver commendable performances, contributing to the film’s overall impact.

A Refreshing Take on the Thriller Genre:

“Maharaja” breaks away from the regular tropes of Indian cinema. There are no songs, no dance sequences, and no romantic subplots. Instead, it focuses on the core narrative, an investigative thriller with a unique twist. Writing about the film without giving away too much is challenging because the seemingly disconnected pieces of the puzzle are integral to the story’s unfolding.

Director Nithilan Swaminathan and Vijay Sethupathi have created a film that is not only engaging but also thought-provoking. “Maharaja” is a slow-burning thriller that keeps the audience on the edge of their seats, eagerly trying to connect the dots. Also Read- Indian 2 Update: Rakul Preet Singh Opens Up About Her Role in Kamal Haasan’s Indian 2


In conclusion, “Maharaja” is a film that stands out due to its unique narrative structure, compelling performances, and emotional depth. Vijay Sethupathi’s realistic portrayal of Maharaja and Anurag Kashyap’s surprising performance make this film a must-watch. Despite its non-linear narrative and intricate subplots, the film manages to keep the audience engaged and invested in the story. Nithilan Swaminathan’s direction and writing bring out the best in the cast, resulting in a film that is definitely worth your time. “Maharaja” is not just a thriller; it is a story about relationships, determination, and the lengths one will go to for those they love.

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