Banners: Lakshmi Ganapathi Films, Red Giant Movies
Cast: Suriya, Shruti Haasan, Johnny Tri and others
Music: Harris Jayaraj
Cinematographer: Ravi K Chandran
Story, screenplay, direction: A R Murugadoss
Producers: Rupesh, Balasubramaniam, Udhayanidhi
Release date: 26/10/2011
The combination of Suriya and director Murugadoss is back and this time they have delved upon a story of the past and the link of science with history. Let us see how good that is.
In the 16th century, a Pallava king Boddhidharma (Suriya) sets on a journey to China. He is endowed with martial arts, art of healing and also the indomitable control over the five elements.
After reaching China, he heals a village of a sickness and due to the locals belief, he sacrifices his life and is buried there. Cut to the present, there is Aravind (Suriya), a circus artiste who comes across Shuba (Shruti) a genetic research student and falls in love with her. However, Shuba gets friendly with Aravind for a reason. Meanwhile, a Chinese named Dong Lee (Johnny Tri) comes to India and his mission is to kill Shuba.
Who is Aravind? Why Shuba wants to be friendly with him? Why Dong Lee comes to kill Shuba? All this forms the rest of the story.
Suriya spreads his charm once again and he is all over the film. More than his regular role as Aravind, it was his brief role as Boddhidharma that creates a strong impact.
Shruti Haasan looks naturally beautiful and has a magical glint in her eyes. She has a meaty role and she did justice for that. If she adds few extra pounds she will be very appealing.
Johnny Tri was excellent. His intense eyes and his body language were menacing. Without many dialogues, he conveys the essence of a villain in the right manner.
Dhanya was alright, Guinness Pakru was a little silly, Avinash was apt, Abhinaya was hardly there, Ashwin was alright, Raghavendra came and went. The others didn’t have much to offer.
- Concept of the film
- Suriya’s performance
- Technical and production values
- Climax fight sequence
- Slow pace
- Weak romance track
- Dragged sequences
- Lack of intensity and emotional depth
Murugadoss has mixed a bit of factual history to modern science in this. For starters, he must be really appreciated for coming up with a bold theme and making an attempt to show the great history and great men of our nation. However, there is a fine line between picking up a good concept and executing it with the right voltage. If it was not for Suriya’s aura and the strong technical values, the film would have been bland.
This movie appears to be the idea of an A grade director executed by a B-grade director. Generally people expect something more sensible from Murugudoss. But that lacked here.
First half is ok but the second half got derailed. Murugudoss made vain attempt to bring grip in narration due to lack of proper research. Even Operation Red idea became silly. The climax is very long with 40 minutes and that itself shows how bad the screenplay is.
It can be said that there is no directorial brilliance as the plot was predictable and all that is required was to fill the two hours plus duration. There is no doubt that this is a rather unique storyline in the recent times but if only it was trimmed in the right manner and some dose of emotion and dramatic values were added to it, the film would have been a success.
At the box office, the openings will be good but audience is advised to step into the theatres without high expectations. Overall, this would not make any positive impact at box office. .
Bottomline: Beautiful thought, bad execution
(Venkat can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)