IFFLA ends this year with a bang. The closing film, Maharaja, is one of the most anticipated in India and popular actor Vijay Sethupathi’s milestone 50th outing.

Sethupathi plays the titular character, a seemingly soft-spoken and timid hairdresser, who lives a nondescript life with his beloved daughter Jothi and a trash can named Lakshmi that had once unwittingly helped save Jothi’s life. Things come to a head one day in the absence of Jothi when Maharaja gets assaulted by masked robbers who also steal Lakshmi. While the cops doubt and ridicule him, the prolonged quest for it eventually unearths long-hidden, disconcerting, and life-altering secrets.

Written and directed by Nithilan Saminathan, Maharaja is an actioner about a bunch of men on a revenge rampage with a stinging twist in the tale. It is also an emotionally charged tale about a tender, tenuous father-daughter bond.

Yet another landmark in Sethupathi’s eventful career, Maharaja is a validation of his versatility. As Maharaja he is a picture of gravitas, intensity, and vulnerability while being adept at slaying the opponents with a butcher’s knife. The film also boasts of an unusually vicious turn from maverick filmmaker Anurag Kashyap.

Though far removed in style and setting from IFFLA’s opening film, Tarsem Singh’s Dear Jassi, Maharaja also deals with a similar theme of women as the casualties of patriarchy and male bravado.

Red carpet and reception start at 6:30 PMscreening starts at 8:00 PM followed by a Q&A. 

Actor Vijay Sethupathi and Director Nithilan Saminathan in attendance for the red carpet and Q&A.

MAHARAJA-Director-headshot
Nithilan Saminathan

Born in a rural village in Vellore Tamil Nadu, India, Nithilan Saminathan holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Visual Communication. Notably, he won the Naalaya Iyakunar reality show for short filmmakers with Punnagai Vaanginaal Kanneer Ilavasam, garnering widespread acclaim. In 2017, he directed his debut feature film, Kurangu Bommai, which was critically acclaimed and commercially successful. Saminathan’s journey underscores his storytelling prowess, highlighted by his adeptness in feature-length narratives and short films alike.

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June 30, 2024 8:00 pm

Closing Night Gala

Nithilan Saminathan

Sudhan Sundaram, Jagadish Palanisamy

Nithilan Saminathan

Dinesh Purushothaman

Philomin Raj

B Ajaneesh Loknath

Vijay Sethupathi, Anurag Kashyap, Mamta Mohandas, Sachana