When I began to write this review, I was in two minds as to whether I should title this in the conventional manner of my earlier reviews or should I title it as “VIJAY on VIJAY, VIJAY and VIJAY”!!!
MERSAL has Vijay playing a triple role, and has therefore three female leads: Nithya Menon, Kajal Agarwal and Samantha Akkineni. And as a further embellishment, it is directed by Atlee and has music by A R Rahman. All of that did not make me want to see this movie; it was only after all the controversies about Vijay’s dialogues hit the media and the thought about my titling this as “VIJAY on VIJAY, VIJAY and VIJAY” did I venture to see this.
For the benefit of my readers, who are not familiar with who Vijay is, let me begin by saying that Priyanka Chopra made her acting debut opposite Vijay in the Tamil Film TAMIZHAN; he has done sixty plus movies; and is popularly addressed in the Tamil Film world as Ithaya Thalapathy (young Commander-in-Chief).
MERSAL is what one could call a hard core masala movie, targeted towards the mass audience. Bereft of logic of any sort, but substituted by good production values and rabble rousing one-liners, MERSAL faithfully sticks to the formula of painting the hero in larger than life colours and thus effectively adding to Vijay’s star appeal. Add to that three heroines, action sequences involving flying kicks and glass bottles generating gore and the theme of avenging wrong doing, front benchers get more than what is due. The unfortunate part is that all that magical effects on the audience ( in fact, one of the roles which Vijay plays is that of a magician) could have been generated with much more refinement and far less spouting of blood. MERSAL still manages to retain its entertainment value, but by no means is a family entertainer and certainly not a movie for children.
Coming to the controversies part, Vijay’s dialogue towards the end about GST seems to have stirred a hornet’s nest in the BJP ranks and the painting of the medical community and the private hospitals in less than flattering hues seems to have irked that community. And since I saw the movie because of the controversies, I must say that film makers and actors, considering the enormous following amongst the not so well educated classes, have to have some responsibility and take extra care so as to present a correct picture and the correct perspective and not just pander to box-office requirements. MERSAL’s value as an entertaining movie would have been much better if only there was a better sense of discretion.
RATING: 2.5 out of 5
October 23rd 2017