Bigil: Hoots, whistles for Thalapathy Vijay in first half; plot fizzles out in second
Tamil superstar Thalapathy Vijay and director Atlee come together for the third time with Bigil, after Theri and Mersal. Is this movie worth the hoots and whistles? Watch Bigil review on Asianet Newsable to find out what the Verithanam (fanaticism) is all about.
Bigil, as you all know it means whistle. So, the fan in me was there with the whistle in the theatre, ready to watch Thalapathy Vijay in action. One good thing is there were no huge cutouts outside the theatre with fans indulging in milk abhishekam. Like Vijay says in the movie, naama yaaru'n garidhu mukkyam illa, naama enna seyiyarom garidhu mukkyam. It's not who we are that is important, what's important is what we do.
Bigil started with a bang introducing Michael, played by Vijay wearing the popular jersey number 5, dancing, while fighting the goons to help students fighting for better facilities in the college. Dancing and fighting like only Vijay can. And then you have the father Vijay playing Rayappan, a gangster who has an arch-rival Daniel Balaji. While Michael proves his mettle being a state level champion in football, Rayappan holds the sword fighting the gangsters. And Rayappan does not want his son to get into this field but become an ace footballer. Just when Michael, popularly known as Bigil, finds the right opportunity to make his way into the national level, he misses his goal literally and misses the lucky train at the railway station. How he fulfils his once lost dream by training the women football players hailing from economically poor background forms the crux of the story.
Rayappan as the gangster hits the nail right on the head with his look, style and the stunts. One of the popular dialogues in the movie is: Namma aatam elaam verithanam ah irukkum, which means our game is always fanatical. The way he holds the sword between his teeth, and the way he lifts up his dhoti after punching a pack of goons are definitely worth the hoots and whistles. Yogi Babu, as the comedian and companion of Michael, has also done a good job with his timely humour. Seems like all Atlee films need to have a fight sequence at Napier's Bridge in Chennai. We saw that in Theri and we see it in Bigil as well. When Vijay and Nayanthara dance to the Bigil theme music, any Tamilian is bound to do the kuthu dance of sorts. The scene where Michael weeps when he loses his dear one and the scene where Rayappan hums an MGR song while kicking and slashing the villains are worth watching and we all know that Vijay is an ardent fan of former Tamil Nadu CM Puratchi Thalaivar MG Ramachandran. Well he is also a Rajinikant fan. We see that in his dialogues and stunts. There is a scene where he apes Rajinikanth and say Meh... like in the movie Enthiran. Well, Vijay does seem to have a huge fan base just the way MGR did and Rajini does now. However, all of the things that work in favour of the movie fall in the first half alone.
What doesn't work:
Michael says in the movie: Nee Rayappan ah dhaan paathirukke, Michael Rayappan ah paakkala. Which means, you have seen the father Rayappan, you haven't seen the son Michael Rayappan. Well, on the contrary, I wished I saw more of Rayappan and less of Michael. The second half is probably a modified and dragged version of Shah Rukh Khan's film Chak De India. One, it gets predictable and two, it gets boring. The songs are mediocre. I know Verithanam and Singapenney went viral, but they definitely lacked the old AR Rahman magic including the romantic song Unakkaga. Not just the female lead Nayanthara, but even the two antagonists Jackie Shroff and Daniel Balaji, and another noted comedian Vivek, had limited roles to play. The second half, despite the incredible CG work to create the football stadium, was interspersed with unnecessary elements that posed as challenges to the much-awaited football game. Vijay's comical roles too were limited. I did enjoy a scene where he reprimands the team he is coaching.
However, one dialogue of his had a lot of meaning. Naama jayikarithiku aadanum, thokkadikarithiku aada kudaadhu. We must play the game with an intention to win, not with the intention to devise means to defeat someone else.
I give this movie 2.5 out 5. While Vijay's movie is always entertaining, it lost its game by aping a Bollywood flick for most part. However, one star for Vijay's performance, another for the brilliant stunt sequences and the women-centric theme, and the half for the engaging first half.
Ek do teen char panch che saath aat nou das!!!! (The End)