Review: Captain Miller

For the first time, I felt myself looking at the Independence struggle from the point of view of an Indian soldier recruited by the East India company. It brought a completely new perspective that left me speechless!

Captain Miller review

A Still from Captain Miller

Film: Captain Miller
Director: Arun Matheswaran
Cast:Dhanush, Dr Shiva Rajkumar, Sundeep Kishen, Priyanka Mohan, Nivethitha Sathish, Aditi Balan, Kumaravel, John Kokken Vinoth Kishen, Kaali Venkat, Jayaprakash and others
Produced by: Sathya Jyothi Films (Sendhil Thyagarajan and Arjun Thyagarajan)
Music: G V Prakash
DoP: Siddhartha Nuni
Dialogues: Madhan Karky
Editing: Nagooran
Rating: 4 stars

Director Arun Matheswaran springs a very pleasant surprise and delivers a meaningful, historic action entertainer that keeps you engrossed from start to finish.

It is about a simple braveheart from the downtrodden segments, who first joins the British army and then, decides to follow his heart and stand up to their might to protect his own.

The story is narrated with such thoughtfulness that every single scene in the film has something substantial to offer to you.

The dialogues are deep and thought-provoking. Madhan Karky’s dialogues pack a punch in them all through. Sometimes, they bring a smile to your faces. At other times, they come across like a tight slap, aimed at awakening you from your deep stupor caused by your simplistic beliefs.

Take for instance the dialogues through which the director explains to the audiences why Analeesan/Captain Miller (Dhanush) offered to join the British Army.

“When your own people look down on you, he (the British) offered him equal status. When your own people told you couldn’t wear footwear, they offered boots and sat with you and ate food. To you, independence might mean freedom. To him, freedom means respect.”

For the first time, I felt myself looking at the Independence struggle from the point of view of an Indian soldier recruited by the East India company. It brought a completely new perspective that I didn’t know, existed. This, despite having been a big fan of history! Until this point, I had only looked at Indians who had served as part of the British army as traitors who had betrayed the cause of the motherland. Captain Miller has made me rethink several points that I was absolutely certain about.

The film has some exceptional performances coming in from almost its entire cast.

Dhanush, as Analeesan/ Captain Miller, delivers a commanding performance and lifts the film to another level altogether. The man plays his part with so much conviction that it rubs on to you and you only see the character on screen and not the actor.

Kannada Star Dr Shiva Rajkumar too comes up with yet another fine performance in this film. As Miller’s elder brother Sengolan, Shiva Rajkumar delivers a measured and neat performance.

Actor Elango Kumaravel, a highly underrated actor, delivers yet another exceptional performance in this film. As Kannaiya, he plays a brilliant supporting role that lends great credibility to the plot. Seen alongside Kumaravel is actress Nivedhitaa Satish, who plays the teenage female dacoit Thenpasiyar with passion. Full marks to the young actress for essaying a difficult character with such flamboyance and making it her own.

Two other actors who stand tall because of their outstanding performances are actress Priyanka Arul Mohan, who plays the character of Velmathi and Kaali Venkat who plays Kanagasabai.

Priyanka delivers her career best peformance as Velmathi. Calm, composed and in command always, she comes across as a refreshing change to the hapless women we have been conditioned to see in films.

Kaali Venkat, an immensely talented actor, plays Kanagasabai, a character with negative shades, with such effortless ease that you begin to wonder if there will ever be a character this man cannot slip into?

On the technical front, editor Nagooran does an exemplary job. His cuts are neat, ensuring that the narration is tight and the film gripping. In fact, Arun Matheeswaran has to thank his cinematographer Siddharth Nuni, his music director G V Prakash but more importantly, his editor Nagooran for teleporting us to a different era.

There is one small sequence, right at the beginning of the film when you get to catch a glimpse of some 25 odd visuals — all in less than a minute. Each of those great visuals, accompanied by mellifluous music, gives you a realistic feel of the era the story is set in. Fantastic work by the entire tech team of this film.

To cut a long story short, Captain Miller is a must watch. Don’t miss it for anything!