Movie News

There is never a dull moment in this Thalapathy Vijay starrer

Mersal movie review: Atlee has not just exploited Vijay's stardom to deliver a flamboyant crowd-pleaser (which he did in Theri already) but has fleshed out an interesting script that plays up the best onscreen traits of the actor

3 / 5 STARS


2017 has not been a year for mass commercial films thus far; in fact, we have had very few releases that belong to pleasing the crowd genre, and most of them did not satisfy the expectations of the public. Yeah we had Baahubali 2 but nothing before that or since then. Will the fortune for commercial action film lovers change? Will Mersal sweep the audience off their feet or at least end up as a watchable entertainer for the festival? It sure looks to have all the potential but to know in which league it falls in, glance down to know:

Thenandal Studio Limited has put up a fabulous team together that features names like Vijay, AR Rahman, Atlee and Vijayendra Prasad in the mix of some young, vibrant talents like GK Vishnu and Ruben. And the list has not even started; it has an extravagant cast list and technical troupe. Probably one of the finest squad that one could dream off. But having said that, all these names in the paper become immaterial when the product fails to connect with the people. Thankfully Mersal doesn’t become one of those films that are only high on technical values.


Atlee seems to be a person with great taste. More than the story, the screenplay of Mersal, it is the packaging that impresses the most. Few scenes are terrifying and slightly on the gory side which justifies the U/A certificate issued for the film. There is so much of flesh and blood exposed since it deals about medical scam but one might feel the director could have toned it down.


Mersal has all the right ingredients in the right amount: a smart script, a likable hero who never seems to age, a dash of romance, more than a touch of comedy, and a lot of fast-paced action. Isn’t that the kind of mix a commoner expects from a big hero festive film?


Mersal has a larger than life plot, triple role moments that you find only in films, and some superficial scenes; but when you see Vijay in the middle of all these, it is all the more easy for viewers to suspend disbelief and settle back for fun. Because when he is in action, you don’t think much about logic.


Mersal has its moments, but if you remove Vijay’s charisma, the movie becomes very predictable.


Playing triple roles is like acting in three different movies. What is more even challenging for Vijay here is, he plays three characters that he has never tried before. A socially responsible villager, a doctor and a magician; he has of course done justice to all the three roles. But to have that urge to train for a character and the craving to do all the magic tricks by himself deserves an applause. When you have someone like Vijay on board, you hardly need to add any gimmicks or special edits or other effects to glorify a mass scene because that is Vijay’s forte and it comes so natural to him.


However, some might say, his snorting kind of voice modulation that he does now and then sound contrived. We understand he uses a different voice tone occasionally to cater to a particular set of audience but such experimentation could work against the film if it is not effective. In this case, it is a mixed bag, not so effective neither it's annoying.


The 80’s flashback portion intro scene and the pre-interval fight scene are some of the major highlights. The comedy and sentiment portions are laced without disturbing the core plot. But the flashback portion could have been cut short.


Though just two films old, Atlee has created an impression that he is a master when it comes to emotions. Theri his last film, was a mix of emotion, drama and action but this time in Mersal, he goes more full-fledged towards action.


Technically he is surrounded by a bunch of extremely talented individuals like AR Rahman for music, Ruben for editing and GK Vishnu the debutant for cinematography. GK actually proves that debutant is just a term that counts for nothing when it comes to art. His work could compete with any top league cinematographer.


AR Rahman knows the importance of silence and to have that tranquillity in a mass flick, takes courage. His music is not noisy like how other commercial potboilers had sounded in the recent times. He doesn’t try to overshadow a scene with jarring or a catchy theme music, yet ARR scores a homerun whenever he gets a chance. It is like he elevates a scene without disturbing its soul.


Ruben’s cuts are sleek, and if not for his efforts, Mersal wouldn’t have been as racy as this. After Puli and Theri, production designer Muthuraj teams up with Vijay again. He has just upped his game in the recent past, and his set designs are so authentic. Whenever there is a slight lag in the screenplay, it was Anal Arasu’s stunts that came to the rescue. His action choreography was intense as well as fun, and when you have someone like Vijay at the performing end, the fight looks even more riveting. However, the song placement in Mersal seemed a tad force-fitted and came when you don’t expect.


SJ Suryah as the menacing villain fits the bill and has a few scoring scenes. All the three female leads Samantha, Kajal Aggarwal and Nithya Menen have limited scope to perform. Among the three, Nithya Menen’s flashback portion works better.


A pounding, pulsating entertainer that provides an almost constant adrenaline surge for nearly two hours and 45 minutes. Had it been a little crisper, it could have been better.

EAP Savoy Metro