Mukha Chitram coaxes the audience to look at one of the most prevalent but not often talked about malaise – Marital Rape with the help of engaging screenplay
Text By Rajeshwari Kalyanam
A plastic surgeon Raj Kumar, and his colleague and friend (Chaitanya) end up at a place where their close friend (Maya), an orphan meets with an accident and is totally disfigured. As fate would have it at the same time Raj Kumar’s wife Mahathi falls down in her house, and dies with a head injury. Incidentally she is pregnant at the time of her death, and the doctor who wishes to keep her memory alive – does the path breaking plastic surgery operation. He reconstructs Maya’s face with Mahathi’s implants, and after two months she wakes up from coma to realise that she no longer has her identity/ face.
Maya is shocked on hearing about the death. But, when Raj asks her to be Mahathi for the sake of her parents, she gives in. After all, he is her childhood love, and she also gets to live her dream of getting married to him. She believes sacrificing her identity is the adjustment she could gladly do for love.
When all is going good between them then why do both of them end up at the court is what the rest of the film all about. To give the writer his due – Colour Photo fame Sandeep Raj wrote the screenplay and dialogues, while the young director Gangadhar executed the film which is fun, entertaining, endearing and thought provoking. Mukha Chitram talks about a very important topic – a much prevalent malaise in the society – Marital Rape. How its legally still vague area, and how it is still not talked about or even acknowledged.
Minus: If only the climax was weightier this review would have been all praises. The court scene towards the end is the undoing of the engaging film. It is like failing to score the winning goal after an amazing game. Vishwak Sen is under-utilized. This scene should have been and could have been better crafted instead of just resorting to sloganeering, and war of emotions and words.
Most importantly by making the woman, who is supposed to have set an example by making the culprit pay for his wrong doings – take the passenger seat – towards the end – Mukha Chitram like every other film gives in to cliché.
Plus: Vikas Vasishta – who wowed the audience with his ‘Cinema Bandi’ was a delight to watch as a romantic husband and evokes exactly opposite reaction in the second half. Priya Vadlamani is the surprise package – she gets to showcase range of emotions as Mahathi and later Maya. Satire, situational comedy, and dialogues of the film work well for the film. Mukhachitram has gripping narrative from the word go. It is a model script that works for most part.