We often observe more than half a dozen films releasing every month with a genre that is tried and tested but science fiction films are seldom made in Tamil Cinema due to the fear of complexity involved in the script. One major factor that pulls back our industry from making quality science fiction films are budget constraints. But few brave directors are reviving this genre by providing us simpler and easily accessible screenplays for even the laymen to understand and enjoy the film. Director Anand Shankar who made heads turn with his smart thriller in his debut with Arima Nambi, has come up with a sci-fi action thriller for his sophomore outing Iru Mugan that stars Chiyaan Vikram and Nayanthara in the lead produced by Shibu Thameens. Has the movie lived up to sky-high expectations? Read On..
After impressing the audiences with Arima Nambi, in Iru Mugan, director Anand Shankar has tried to blend fiction, chemistry, science and history within limits to keep you hooked for most of the part and leaving you with a stunning interval block. He weaves all the commercial elements into the narration. He brings in a low-key touch that is a pleasant and welcome change from the loudness usually associated with Tamil cinema. Characters speak very little(though the movie could have used a few more one-liners) and sentiments are kept to a minimum. The very positive aspect of the film is being straight in narrating the scenes without any fluctuations and minimal twists. But the repetitive use of scientific elements and showing the drug Speed reaching the nervous systems after inhaling gets overboard which we have often seen in Shankar’s films like ‘I’ and ‘Anniyan’. The film lacks a punch due to the monotonous screenplay, less tension that it gets predictable after a point as the pace further sags in the second half.
The film is all about Akhilan (Chiyaan Vikram), a RAW Agent who has lost his wife Meera (Nayanthara) during an incident. Aarushi (Nithya Menen) helps Vikram in Malaysia where he sets out to track Love (Chiyaan Vikram) who is said to have killed his wife and finally he falls into Love’s trap where a huge shock awaits him. Does Akhilan take revenge of Love or not forms the crux of the film.
Chiyaan Vikram as the ruthless mad scientist ‘Love’ is a revelation. Stylish, menacing and electrifying, he seems to have thoroughly enjoyed the challenge and has completely lived up to it and he also sparkles in the role of Akhilan with great attitude. Tamil Cinema can definitely be proud of such an actor who is willing to push the envelopes to any extreme. This film will be another valuable and proud addition to Chiyaan Vikram’s illustrious career who is terrific as Akhilan & Love and he deserves many accolades for the most daring and gutsy performance again after ‘I’ playing dual roles for the first time in his career. In two absolutely varying roles, the star has put his heart and soul into the movie. On the other hand Nayanthara continues from where she left in Billa almost a decade ago. Her introduction is quite fascinating as her effort to sizzle in Halena song is worth appealing. She is a powerhouse of talent, her emotions are situational. Her growth has presented her with a wider scope for performance in this film and she makes a clean sweep. Her costumes, inimitable attitude and style makes us feel that no other actress could carry the role of Meera with dignity and elan. Nithya Menon justifies her role neatly as it has some scope to perform while Thambi Ramaiya, Nasser, Karunakaran and rest of the cast are just about okay and have less significance.
Technically the film is sound. With such quality production values, the film certainly looks stylish and vibrant. Be it the costumes or the song choreography or the stunt choreography, the visuals and the techniques used by the crew are high-end and make sure that the experience isn’t bad. The stunt sequences though, are definitely among the highlights of the movie. RD Rajasekar has made sure that his camera has captured the action from close quarter, the locations of Malaysia and Kashmir are well captured. His camerawork including all the real locations of Kuala Lumpur, hospital and prison scenes are definitely the key selling points of he film. The music of Harris Jayaraj and his BGM is in sync with the theme of the film. His pulsating Face Off theme has been aptly used in all the mass action scenes which give you the goosebumps. Editor Bhuvan could have done away with few songs that hamper the pace of the film.
There are few shortcomings in the film that cannot be overlooked. For a spy thriller at this scale, the forced comedy of Thambi Ramaiah is totally uncalled for. The film faces severe logical loopholes and one may be left confused as to why Anand Shankar did not manage to take care of it in the proceedings. The first half of the film is dangerously slow, loaded with action and twists, and keeps you guessing. Unfortunately, the director loses his zeal and enthusiasm at this point. The film degenerates into an ordinary drama, songs pops up every now and then. The film also shares similarities with Jayam Ravi’s Aadhi Bhagavan and Ajith’s Arrambam. Wish director Anand Shankar had tried to get rid of the cliched sequences to counter attack the villain. The film doesn’t have a hook factor which is sometimes disappointing.
To sum it up, Iru Mugan could have been another taut thriller like Arima Nambi had it been treated with more engaging screenplay. The lack of depth in the dealing of the proceedings and poorly sketched characters and excessive exaggerations of the drug inhaler leave a lot to be desired. However, Iru Mugan is a better film coming from Chiyaan Vikram in recent times. Watch the film for the knockout performances from lead pair, some well staged action sequences, exotic locales and fine music from Harris Jayaraj.