‘Market Raja MBBS’ review: A superficial story with every cliche in Tamil cinema

The film has heaped too much onto its plate to be able to present anything memorable.
‘Market Raja MBBS’ review: A superficial story with every cliche in Tamil cinema
‘Market Raja MBBS’ review: A superficial story with every cliche in Tamil cinema
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Market Raja (Aarav) is a don. To prove it, in his very first scene, he’s shown choosing between two guns to use on a man who has wronged him, and then decides to not shoot him after all. Market Raja is a classic, unpredictable don.

He’s also the kind of person who everyone is terrified of, including his own mother Sundhari Bai (Radikaa). Now she’s a don too. Well, kind of. She’s shown riding a Bullet while wearing silk sarees and chunky jewellery. She commands a group of goons around and smokes a cigar. The mother-son relationship is non-existent and on the rare occasion when they do meet, Sundhari Bai is treated poorly by her son. In one scene, she is physically kicked into the air by Market Raja. In one brief dialogue, Market talks about how she never cared for him when he was a child but that’s all we get to know about their relationship. 

But Market Raja is not all bad. After killing someone, he lights a candle and prays for their soul to rest in peace. This, he does inside a room filled with lit candles. Sigh. 

An ensemble of cast is then introduced. There’s the cunning minister (Hareesh Peradi), an influential man (Sayaji Shinde) who is Market Raja’s godfather and Market Raja’s sidekicks - played by Chaams and Adithya Menon. Actor Nikesha Patel plays the minister’s mistress.

In a parallel track we are also introduced to Kavya Thapar who plays a medical student and actor Vihaan, a timid medical student who is in love with her.

The first half of the film is spent in watching Market Raja beat goons (since that’s his full time job) and awkwardly shuffles to establish Kavya and Vihaan’s (Chandramohan) characters. From what we’ve seen in the trailer, we know that it is Chandramohan’s spirit that enters into Market Raja’s body. The interval block, therefore, has no suspense in it.

The second half of the film has some wild ideas. For instance, a ghost hunter (Devadarshini) is called to rid Market Raja of the spirit that possesses him. Armed with what looks like the mosquito control fog machine (with colourful buttons), she tries to communicate with the spirit. Later she explains, “Market Raja’s spirit has been put to sleep and on top of it Chandramohan’s spirit stays awake.” Uh, what? Actor Munishkanth (who plays the ghost hunter’s husband) interjects with a laugh - “Is this some kind of a spirit sandwich?” as if the makers themselves had second thoughts about this idea.

Even if you bought that and decided to sit through till the end of the film, you might have to brace yourself for another spirit-sandwich scene. Thankfully, this does not become a pattern in the film.

Now coming to the film’s love track. Even in director Saran’s early film, Amarkalam, Shalini’s character falls in love with Ajith’s character after listening to him sing the remarkable “Satham Illatha” song (sung breathlessly by SPB). In Market Raja MBBS, Kavya’s character is impressed just by looking at the hero. Let’s not waste any time in writing about love, he must have thought.

Market Raja MBBS has very few funny scenes. The sequence on the bridge, when they haven’t discovered the “spirit-sandwich” yet is the only portion that evokes laughter. Actor Archana plays Chandramohan’s mother who works at Amma Unavagam. She has hearing and speaking disabilities and the scene where she expresses her grief is the film’s only original moment.

Actor Aarav does quite a good job playing the don at first and then the timid character. The film's story stays on a superficial layer and is a potpourri of all the cliches we've seen in Tamil cinema. Market Raja MBBS has heaped too much onto its plate to be able to present anything memorable.

Disclaimer: This review was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the series/film. TNM Editorial is independent of any business relationship the organisation may have with producers or any other members of its cast or crew.

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