Water crisis in Kana Kandaen, diamond and drug trafficking in Ayan, Youth politics and Naxalites (poor portrayal of the movement) in Ko, director/cinematographer and former photo journalist K.V. Anand has this flair for combining masala elements with serious plots. With Suriya holding the movie (Once again) as conjoined twins, this time too, he takes up a serious, life-threatening subject: Genetic Engineering.
AGS Entertainment's Maatran is a story about a egotist genetic enginneer, Ramachandran (Sachin Khedekar) and his project of creating a superhuman by rewriting human DNA. The movie starts with a typical hospital scene, where the wife of Ramachandran gives birth to conjoined twins (Suriya), Akilan and Vimalan. The twins has only one heart, not much against doctor's advice, their mother decides and swears to raise them both. The song "Rettai Kathirae" starts of the film in an adorable way , showcasing the twins' childhood and adolescence. Ramachandran's life, too changes, who soon becomes a multi-millionaire by setting forth into the diary industry and eventually making a energy drink called 'Energion.'
The duo grow up into young men and are startlingly alike, how ever, different in manners. Vimalan believes in socialism and appreciates Kahlil Gibran anf Bharathiyar's poetry, whereas Akilan is a cool guy, who celebrates his life. The twins gets involved in the industrial espionage by a Russian journalist and her interpreter, Anjali (Kajal Aggarwal). Vimalan gets suspicious of his father's company and is later killed in a fight. Vimalan's lover, later becomes the lover of Akilan are set out to solve the mystery (even though easily predictable).
Maatran is largely overshadowed by Suriya's performance. As both Vimalan and Akilan, he carries his role with elan. His hard-work in playing the conjoined twins should be commended. Kajal Aggarwal as the Russian interpreter and love interest, has a lot more scenes than her usual arm candy role, but she makes no great impact on the story, and seems to be cheerful even in the serious scenes. Scahin Khadekar as the mad- scientist, Ramachandran is perfect in his role, even though his intentions seems dubious.
Performance-wise, Maatran fares better than other Tamil movies, but the movie falters with a wavering-script by K.V. Anand and Subha. The first-half is entertaining and intriguing with its plot-twists, but kills the suspense by showing who the real culprit and villain. The second-half takes place in Ukraine and most of the scenes lacks conviction and are full of loop-holes. If anyone wants to make a case for the abolishment of song and dance from our cinema, then the song "Kaal Mulaitha Poovae" is a perfect example. Anthony's editing is fast paced in the first-half, goes downhill in the second. I have seen the trimmed version of the movie (edited nearly 20 minutes of the movie in the second-half), but still lacked to instill any interest.
Soundarrajan's cinematography should be appreciated for his angles and lighting in the scenes involving conjoined twins and he has spectacularly shot the song sequence "Nani Koni" in the splendors of Norway. Peter Hein have done a tireless in making the stunts, but the "Theme Park" fight sequence seems over-stretched. Director K.V. Anand, this time, fails to mix the right element of entertainment and serious plot. Anand has failed to package the concept of genetic engineering, but should be praised for showing the rarity (Conjoined twins) in detail. Harris Jeyaraj's music, especially towards climax, are loud and noisy. His songs are good, although it sounds like, we have heard them before. The picturisation for the songs, "Rettai Kathirae" and "Yaaro Yaaro" are perfect and catches our attention.
Maatran has a great premise, with a solid performance from Suriya, but the vacillating screenplay makes it an average one-time-watch-flick.