No Indian film enthusiast should go through life without seeing a Rajnikanth movie. And it still took me around four years of watching Indian movies to get to my first Rajnikanth movie. But boy, was I glad I finally did.
Muthu is a mid-90's goofball masala fare. I don't know where it stands amongst Rajni's filmography, but I really loved it and just for the way it utterly convinced me of Rajni's talent and persona, I'd call it one of his best performances (even without seeing any others). Rajni plays the loyal servant Muthu, Meena plays a drama actress Ranganayagi, to whom Muthu's master falls in love with. At first Muthu and Ranganayagi don't like each other and one of the loveliest treats of the film is to watch them bicker, but due to some circumstances they get stuck together and well, you know the drill.
There is plenty of peculiar, funny comedy in the film and it keeps it fairly light for nearly 2 hours, which I liked - there are underlying tensions the whole time, but they don't bog down the story unnecessarily. Even Vadivelu - the comedian very often featured in Tamil films - amused me a ton in this movie.
Told you it's goofball.
The biggest surprise wasn't really Rajnikanth and the fact that I could actually stomach him despite his lack of looks and his no-lack-of years gone by, it was that I genuinely enjoyed the romance in the movie. Piyaara broke some of the charm by telling me that the actress opposite Rajni actually starred in one of his earlier movies as a child star (uh, that's some age difference) but regardless, it has to be said that the romance is cute and comedic.
I would definitely recommend this movie. It's completely crazy but awesomely entertaining, and has gorgeous song picturizations and catchy music and ..I'll let Meena's sweet face just lure you in.
Oh, and did you know this film is the most successful Indian film in Japan? Because it is, released under the title "Muthu the Dancing Maharaja". Well, they got the 'dancing'-part right, at least.