At the center of Mathi Maran’s debut film Selfie, is the burgeoning admission racket rampant in medical and engineering colleges in Chennai. The film deftly explains how swiftly a college seat is filled— cash flows like water from the hands of wealthy parents to commission stealing brokers, in turn to money funneling institutes — all of this in a matter of a few minutes. Selfie, true to its theme, is as fast-paced as the transaction itself.
Selfie is a film written and directed by Mathi Maran, produced by D Sabareesh under the banner DG Film Company and distributed by Kalaipuli S Thanu’s V Creations. The film has GV Prakash, Gautham Vasudev Menon, and Varsha Bollamma playing the lead roles while Vidya Pradeep, Sangili Murugan, DG Gunanidhi, Vagai Chandrasekar, Subramaniam Siva, and others play supporting roles. The film has music scored by GV Prakash himself.
Kanal (GV Prakash) is an engineering student who has been forcefully admitted into an infamous college by his father. After getting to know that brokering seats for commission can make one rich quickly, he gets into the business with his friends and rises among the ranks pretty quickly. He gets into deep trouble at the same pace, and one of his best friends dies. How he gets out of this mess forms the rest of the plot.
The biggest strength of Selfie is probably its screenplay and writing. The film doesn’t waste much time getting into the narrative, and the premise that has been chosen is something that has rarely been addressed in Tamil cinema. It explores the world of college-seat brokering and how innocent parents are being cheated by the big system that also involves college management.
GV Prakash comes up with a restrained performance, and Gautham Menon is also extremely composed and convincing as Ravi Varma, the leader of the broker racket. Even though there is less screen time, Varsha Bollamma does well in her portions. However, the one who shines the most is Vagai Chandrasekhar who plays the father of Kanal. There is a beautiful scene where Kanal breaks down in front of his father which stands testament to both their acting skills.
The engagement also faces the same fate – Until midway through the second half, the film is highly engaging. But towards the end, the film becomes a bit predictable. Technically, the film is strong in the music and edit department. The jump cuts are cleverly used by Elaya Raja, the editor. The nature of cuts also goes hand in hand with the pacing of the film.
Mathi Maran, a former associate of Vetri Maaran, is fond of infusing raw action moments into the film, like Vetri Maaran himself. While the actors dole out impressive performances, the supporting cast, including Vagai Chandrasekhar, stands out in emotional scenes. Overall, Selfie has strong content, amazing performances by the leads, and a solid emotional base. The other technical departments also make up to an extent to overshadow the flaws. Try not to miss it in theatres.