Verdict: An unusual yet compelling tale about relationships

The new year for cine buffs means only one thing – brand new releases. And, if the New Year falls on a Friday, it’s a double delight. 2016, for Tamil film buffs, kick starts with Maalai Nerathu Mayakkam. Directed by Gitanjali Selvaraghavan and written by Selvaraghavan, this romantic-drama is a simple film that presents the realities of life from the point of view of a married couple.
When it comes to making romantic films, filmmakers often treat the plot of the film as a battle between the two sexes. Romantic-comedies are also tagged as glossy, colourful entertainers that seem unreal. However, Maalai Nerathu Mayyakam is a lot more than that. Devoid of bright-coloured sets and forced humor, this romantic-drama boasts of a solid story. 
The film explores the love story that takes place in the life of a married couple. The film centers about Manoja (Wamiqa Gabbi), an independent and bold woman, and Prabhu (Balakrishna Kola), an old-fashioned guy, who are brought together in an arranged marriage. How the two contrasting characters bond forms the rest of the story. The result of this is both riveting and fascinating. 
A film directed by a woman director is always refreshing to watch, because a fresh perspective is always welcome. One would expect a woman director to make a chirpy, feel-good romantic film. But debut director Gitanjali Selvaraghavan has attempted with bold subject, that delves into the concept of married relationships. She needs to be appreciated for that. Another woman director who attempted a similar based on relationships and psychological disorder was Aishwarya Dhanush, who directed the film 3. 
The film portrays the female  character in the film as a strong  and opinionated woman and brings in her perspective into the film’s story. It is the director’s vision the audience sees. One has to note that Selvaraghavan’s features women in his films as bold characters, who have meaty roles, and this script is no different. Selvaraghavan is known to make films that present the two leads as strong characters. Be it 7/G Rainbow Colony or Kaadhal Kondein, most of his films have been cult classics. This one may not be his best story, but it’s sure to gain attention.
One of the underwhelming points of the film is that it comes across as promoting an indifferent ideology. Rather than promoting itself as a passionate love story, this could’ve been a movie about the abuser and the victim, and how the victim heals herself, and puts on a brave act in her life. That and how the two need to consult a therapist to reconcile their differences. This would’ve broken boundaries and would’ve been more interesting. Instead, it validates that being with an abuser is perfectly alright, and falling in love with an abuser is okay. The series of events that take place in the story also seem inconsistent. 
This film gives debutante Balakrishna Bhaskar and Wamiqa Gabbi a lot of scope to perform. They infuse realism into their performances. The biggest strength of the film is the performance by new comer Wamiqa Gabbi. She plays the brave and independent woman who is vulnerable at the same time with conviction. She is a performer to watch out for! Balakrishna Bhaskar‘s is perfect for the role of Prabhu, his unkempt appearance is enough to convince you thoroughly, even if it may seem cliched. In terms of technical aspects, the cinematography of the film is rightly done making each atmosphere seem real.
Why You Should Watch This Movie:
Those who enjoy films by Selvaraghavan, may like Maalai Nerathu Mayyakam. With brilliant performances, good music and an unusual plot, this is for those who prefer to watch films with blind-romance as its theme.