#I – Movie Review
(Picture courtesy – Terence Sandeep Sans http://www.fb.com/terence.sandeep.1)
With no second thoughts, ‘I’ is the most anticipated Tamil films in the past few months. It is director Shankar’s 11th film and it is his 2nd film with ‘Chiyaan’ Vikram after ‘Anniyan’ in 2005. This high-budget science fiction romanctic thriller has been produced and distributed by V.Ravichandran (Aascar Films). Amy Jackson plays the lead female role and the film has an ensemble cast which include Suresh Gopi, Upen Patel, Santhanam and Ramkumar Ganesan portraying pivotal roles. The film has a brilliant technical team including A.R. Rahman, P. C. Sreeram, Anthony and the RISING SUN PICTURES team (Australia). The film’s shooting began in July 2012 and was in production for more than 2.5 years. With every poster, teaser and trailer released, the expectations and hope on ‘I’ kept on increasing and it never came down. The film has been through great business and is releasing in a huge number of theatres; the satellite rights of the film alone have been sold to Jaya TV for Rs.20 crore. With sky-high level expectations from all set of audiences, has Director Shankar managed to deliver another brilliant entertainer? Read on, to know!
The film begins with the Koonan (Vikram with Hunchback) character kidnapping Diya (Amy Jackson) on the day of her marriage. The flashback unfolds then, where Lingesan (Vikram) is a body-builder who runs a gym and wants to win the title of ‘Mr.India’; he has so much love for Diya, the most popular model. What happens between them? How did Lingesan turn so ugly looking with such physical changes? Why does he kidnap Diya? The answer forms the crux of the story.
Unlike any of his earlier films, Director Shankar has given a film with no social messages; in fact, for the very first time, he has tried Romantic Thriller genre. ‘I’ is a perfect entertainer with extraordinary performance from Vikram (can be easily called his best till date), Scintillating background score and brilliant visuals. As like always in Shankar’s films, ‘I’ also has extravagant visuals, never before seen locations, grand sets, very impressive CG works and more & more creativity in every frame.
The film starts with the Kidnap scene and gets into the flashback, where we see both the past and present narrated paralelly. The first half has most of love scenes between Lingesan and Diya that are set in Chennai and China. Post interval, the film predominantly travels on the question ‘Who’ and ‘Why’. The climax was surprisingly so light-hearted and beautifully made! The whole team’s efforts are evidently seen in every single scene; their hardwork of day & night has really paid-off in the final output in big scale. Kudos to the Captain of the ship!
Vikram’s adorable dedication and performance is what keeps the audience engaged for the whole 3+ hours running time; especially in the Koonan character where he has done so much of homework for perfection in the body language and dialogue delivery. The weight transformation in both the character is also admirable; those scenes where he goes through the change are heart-warming. His acting in the scenes where he cries to the doctor in the hospital and looks at himself in the mirror at gym is top notch! For sure, he is gonna bag a lot of awards this year! Amy Jackson has done full justice to her role and offers us a lot more in performance than what we can expect from her; she has got a very big responsibility in carrying the film along with Vikram, in which she has been succesful. Santhanam is in full form after a long time and his comedy has been a major plus of the film, particularly in the pre-climax portions. All other actors including Suresh Gopi, Upen Patel and Ramkumar Ganesan have done their part in a pretty convincing manner.
Technically, ‘I’ is more than brilliant! Songs in A.R.Rahman’s music are already chartbusters; with electrifying BGM all-through, ARR elevates the film’s standard to a different height! The shots and frames composed by P.C.Sreeram are enthralling, which is another biggest asset of ‘I’. Anthony’s cuts are sleek, however a little more trimming in both halves would have made it perfectly gripping. All the songs in the film has been very well-picturised; especially, ‘Mersalaayitten’, the brands concept more like short stories in ‘Aila Aila’ song (hope the production firm has made some good business with all their brand partners 🙂 ) and the Beauty and Beast concept in ‘Ennodu Nee Irundhaal’ are so creative and enjoyable. The make-up team has done a fantastic job, for every character in the film. The VFX work by the Australian team RISING SUN PICTURES is also laudable. All the 4 stunt sequences by Anal Arasu and Yuen Woo-Ping are very well-executed and each stunt is so unique in the concept and style of execution.
On flip side, the pace of the pre-interval portions and the mid 2nd half looks slower than needed. Also, we cannot ignore the fact that Vikram’s Chennai slang and dialogue delivery looks too artificial / forced. The predictability has been a big minus; the audience are able to guess few important twists in second half ahead the screenplay. Whereas the same will be enjoyed by ‘C’ centre audience, since the film’s narration is not that complex / experimental as it used to be in Shankar’s films. There are chances that ‘I’ might not transcend the expectations of few audience; however, the film is wholly entertaining and worth the money paid for anyone who books a ticket for ‘I’!
So… Is the film a good entertainer? Yes, Athukkum mela…!!
* Vikram’s acting
* Songs & Background score
* VFX & Make-Up
* The Extravagant Visuals & Sets
* Predictable screenplay
* Pace of the Pre-interval portion and Mid-second half
(Personally, I would rate it more than 4 🙂 )
Review by: Rahman
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