Rajiv Menon, who is a cinematographer-director-ad filmmaker, has finally returned with his direction Sarvam Thaala Mayam after 18 years. The story revolves around a Dalit boy who sees his interest developing in Carnatic music and chooses to pursue the same.
Peter aka GV Prakash Kumar does not want to be like his father Johnson aka Kumaravel who makes mridingam but never plays it. Throughout the story, the director has beautifully portrayed the characters onscreen. Rajiv questions his viewers, “why don’t we see someone from the mridangam-making community become a popular name in the kutcheri circuit?”
Peter who is a fan of Thalapathy Vijay is hooked to drums but later sees his attention drawing towards the Carnatic music after he has experienced the performance of the legendary mridangam artist.
Like most of the Indian children, Peter also faces discouraging ideas while pursuing his dream. His mom, on the one hand, wants him to focus on his studies while his father, on the other hand, asks him to stop daydreaming. There appears a scene where he says, “The doors will be shut on your face, and that’s the reality,” and Peter replies saying, “I’ll break open the doors if the need be.” And, that is how Peter fights the caste restrictions and chases the dream he so desires.
Ever since Peter saw the performance of legendary Iyer he wanted to learn music from him. He pursues him and enters his house when he meets a senior disciple and faces humiliation from his side. Iyer, on the other hand, is not a casteist. He likes Peter and his dedication towards his dream and decides to teach him mridangam. Rajiv portrays Iyer’s character as a purist and traditionalist who is against the Skype classes and Reality shows. He, additionally, does not accompany female vocalists.
As Peter starts indulging more towards music, he starts experiencing a new turn in his life. He stays away from liquor, non-vegetarian, food and starts to make many important changes in his lifestyle which proves his love for the art form. Though, after a while, he gradually has to leave Iyer due to some circumstances that take place through the plot of the movie. However, he did not stop chasing music; he goes on an all-India tour and learns from different musicians.
The second half of the movie comprises of a reality show angle that, at times, looks exaggerated and forced to the script. What’s interesting and commendable is that Rajiv has included real-life professional personalities for the cast of the movie including, Sumesh Narayanan, Sikkil Gurucharan, Unnikrishnan, Srinivas and Karthik.
Overall, the movie is worth a watch and we award it 7 stars out of 10.