Jan 14, 2015

I (Tamil) [Movie Review]

Tamil Cinema has seen a lot of successful and impactful collaborations off-screen. One such memorable collaboration is that of director Shankar and writer Sujatha. Having collaborated on many a movie including the very successful and entertaining Anniyan, Mudhalvan and Sivaji, the combination was sorely missed in parts of Endhiran (due to the death of Sujatha). Shankar did a quick and dirty project Nanban which didn’t need much creativity in the story or dialogues considering it was a scene-by-scene remake of 3 Idiots. With all these factors, Shankar had a pretty important litmus test on whether he would have a successful outing in I, without Sujatha. In a way to compensate for this, Shankar had roped in the actor Vikram, I guess. And he almost gets lucky.

A revenge-drama entered around Lingesan (Vikram), a local guy who shoots up to prominence, I definitely has Vikram in a very satisfying outing since Raavanan. Giving a 100% physically and perhaps mentally, Vikram definitely needs to be lauded for his performance throughout the movie, including the few scenes which showcase his acting prowess completely.

I is a story that could have been condensed to a fast-paced thriller of 100-120 minutes. With a total of five antagonists/villains, and a back-story for each of them with Vikram, the story definitely appeared stretched. To add to this, Shankar along with the writer Subha decides to insult the audience’s intelligence by replaying a few sequences which were quite obvious to ensure that the viewer places a piece of the jigsaw puzzle with just five pieces which already has four pieces in place. This tedious nature of the narrative does not help with the length either and makes it a dragging 189 minutes long movie.

One can always trust Shankar to work with A.R.Rahman well. And he sure has this time too. From the ’damaal-dumeel’ U-turn that I made (of not relishing the songs on the first listen, putting away the songs in a cold freezer and then getting called by the songs after a good two months to love them entirely), I was sure that the songs would be picturized in a way that would to justice to it. It is almost a blind faith that Shankar gets what he wants from Rahman, like Mani Ratnam (and perhaps Imtiaz Ali now). Starting the wonderful Ladio and Aila Aila, which turn out to be product commercials, to Mersalaiyten that shows even the not-so-enticing parts of Chennai as a wondrous spectacle, the songs are placed in the movie well and picturized well. The staple romantic duet in any Shankar movie is the Pookale Sattru Oyvendungal, which is shot in China and has the grandeur of nature showcased very well. I particularly want to mention ‘The’ song of the album and its picturization here. Ennodu Nee Irundhal is that song that perhaps a lot of us hated on the first listen only for us to go back and listen to it in a loop. With a Beauty and the Beast theme, even the video takes its time to grow on you. And how!

Amy Jackson, introduced by Vijay in Madrasapattinam, does what she supposed to do very well. She looks good. She dances well. She emotes well. And in one scene where she is supposed to talk in a local dialect, she throws in the attitude casually without much discomfort. A lot of this is to be credited to the voice Raveena. Upen Patel is the major antagonist here and will perhaps find chances in Tamil cinema to play the good-looking Hindi-speaking villain (who essentially speaks one two three baa baa black sheep and gets saved by the dubbing artist). There’s Suresh Gopi, Ramkumar (late actor Sivaji Ganesan’s son) Ojas M Rajini, and another actor who are up against Vikram. Santhanam is not a major annoyance in this movie, especially after the disastrous Lingaa, has some good one-liners and helps the storyline move, like how Vivek did in Anniyan. (Ojas M Rajini's character in the movie will definitely make a few of the activists for sexual equality gang up against the movie and the movie could have done without this character. )

Shankar, thanks for enabling Vikram win this one! Better luck to you next time!

PS: This was my first movie review in over 4 years with the last one being that of Shankar's Endhiran with Rajini! Time to get back to writing more I guess!

1 comment:

  1. Happy to know we think alike :-) Very well written and agree with you wholly :-)



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