Ilaya thalapathy Vijay has joined hands with his Theri director Atlee for the second time with Mersal, which has been in news since the last 2 weeks, first for literally stealing the title of a small budget flick Mersalayitten, and later winning the same , thanks to their might, and later for the NOC from AWBI, which almost looked like a staged sympathy seeking attempt, which ultimately ended with chopping of sequences and receiving U/A certificate from the censors, ending Vijay’s streak of obtaining a clean U for “family” flicks from him, filled with double entendres and extreme glam exposures.
The film, proclaimed to be a pride of Tamils by makers themselves, has released today amidst much hype and paid promotions. Let’s see the producer’s lavish money has paid off on screen.
Mersal is about identical brothers , Magician Vetri and Doctor Maaran(Vijay), joining hands to complete revenge for the death of their parents Vetrimaran (Vijay again) – Nithya (Nithya Menon), due to the medical crimes committed by Daniel (SJ Surya).
Vijay gets to play triple roles for the first time in his career, and of the three roles , the third role Vetrimaran, which comes in the flashback portion, is sure to irk the audience maximum, with punchlines reminding of his political ambitions (that might never become a reality), constant , conscious shaking of that intolerably misfit wig, a fashion sense Vijay has acquired since his Bhairava days.
It’s a wonder that Vijay continued the Bhairava look in Mersal too despite the failure of the movie as well as the underwhelming response to his hair style. Vijay as magician vetri and his so called massy act as Vetrimaran in flashback which reminds one of the epic roles like Major Saravanan of Villu and Pulivendhan of Puli, murder the efforts of SJ Surya and Vadivelu, who actually try hard to make the audience sit for 174 minutes.
While he settles in the ok category with his act as Doctor Maaran, his act as Vetri goes overboard, with over the top expressions , artificial body language, and a voice modulation that directly competes with some unique modulation. SJ Surya and Vadivelu are the actual saviors of the audience as Vadivelu has shined in a full length comedy role , and SJ Surya is seen in a stylish avatar, in a stark contrast to his SPYder act. It’s the performance of these 2 that makes you sit through the 3 hours snore fest. Nithya Menon delivers an emotional , touching Performance, while Samantha and Kajal Aggarwal are wasted in insignificant roles.
Music by AR Rahman, makes you wonder, if this was the same composer who won an Oscar, numerous national and Filmfare awards for music , and gives a clear indication of the “special” treatment he gives to mediocre subject movies. Cinematography by GK Vishnu is top notch and happens to be the only high point of the whole film technically. Editing by Ruben will make you sleep, as the film goes on and on, with abrupt cuts and unwarranted sequences filled with huge drags, making Mersal a tiring experience despite earnest efforts by supporting characters.
After Mouna Ragam and Sathriyan, this time Atlee has decided to spare Maniratnam, and has touched Vijay’s very own Kaththi and older double role flicks like Aboorva Sagotharargal and many more, but fails big time in converting the Freemake into a successful one. With a predictable plot, and Vijay at the helm of affairs, one must have been careful in the screenplay, but Atlee has become over confident, and in the process has ripped off Kaththi and has replaced corporate domination with Medical crimes without much attention into detailing. through 3 hours of patience test called Mersal.
All said, Mersal is a classic example of how only a good director can transform the story of Vijayendra Prasad into a good film , and not every Tom, dick and harry can become an SS Rajamouli or a Shankar or a Murugadoss, after making two pathetically ripped off movies which ran just because of paid promotions and channel backing. Producers Hema Rukmani and Ramasamy of Thenandal studios who had high hopes on this project has to drop India’s costliest movie ‘Sangamitra’ for a while as this would definitely bite their hands.