In Vysakh's long-awaited film, Mohanlal pulls the story of a tiger hunter getting used to his reputation, by the scrub off its neck. And, in doing so his character and the makers to be precise have over-killed the tiger. Small problem in a big-budget movie and one that people may have overlooked as they watched it on big screen.
2.5 out of 5 (Fairly Good)
| Sreejith Mullappally (NOWRUNNING)
What do tigers dream off, when they take a little Tiger snooze.
Do they dream of mauling zebras or Halle Berry in her cat woman suit?
So mused, Dr. Stu from The Hangover.
In this great-looking amphitheater of Man Vs Animal, WWE, big-shot only one man escapes unscathed. And, you don't need no 'robotic intelligence to know who that man is.' Goodness me, what has happened to imagination, intelligence, creativity?
We all know tigers won't upscale trees in the forest, but why in the world VFX cannot even let India's national animal - 100% a superstar and much powerful an entity as Mohan Lal - climb one of those?
Forget factual accuracy for the time being at least for such things aren't mandatory in a much fictionalized universe such as this. In Vysakh's long-awaited film, however, Mohanlal pulls the story of a tiger hunter getting used to his reputation, by the scrub off its neck. And, in doing so his character and the makers to be precise have overkilled the tiger. Small problem in a big-budget movie and one that people may have overlooked as they watched it on big screen.
Even when the poor chap has unfinished business midway through climbing a tree; it has no real business being there in the first place itself if you think about it, except maybe to get smacked to the smithereens. (I was going to use a more wicked phrase than that.)
If Pulimurugan is no wankfest, then all credits should go to Peter Hein the stunt expert as much it does go to its titular hero. At least there is one man in the whole of south India who knows how to pull off the set-pieces that recreates a tiger as real as an original one, despite sending him packing into oblivion time and time again. (Note: Like creating a masterpiece, and then tearing it apart?)
However painstaking and wicked that proposition may look on screen, people of a certain vintage would appreciate Hein's gargantuan effort behind setting a trap, luring prey, seducing it even and then going smack bang at the end. And the manner in which the movie respects the duo's - Lal vs Pal - tussle as a piece of pure story telling not some kind of technological gimmick.
Call me a bit old school but can movies rely on special effects alone? Perhaps it can do so temporarily if not for all times sake. Like a great looking book cover, what is behind the Veneer of VFX in Pulimurugan is a rather childish notion.
The story begins somewhere in an imaginative (or not-so-imaginative) forest viz. Puliyoor, where rests our titular hero i.e., Mohanlal's Puli Murugan - a lorry driver cum Tiger hunter, who's hunting agilities are the stuff of legends amongst the forest people. The great irony of the plot of Pulimurugan is the relevance it holds especially at a time when the specimen Tiger had gone on a rampage of late. There are one or two scenes at least which perhaps took a leaf out of the contemporary goings-on of Man Vs Tiger; where unlike in the movie, the man could only wait and watch whilst the Tiger might as well finish its meal.
The writing is crisp, simple, engaging. At times repetitive as well given the amount of self-indulgence employed. The story telling is straight-forward and serviceable at best although the basic premise is rather futile, to say the least. That Vysak takes an easy route to convey this parable, or indulges in fanboy star-struck syndrome from time to time doesn't really help elevate the notion to higher realms. And, that the movie's running time - a butt numbing 2 and a Â½ hours - only to reach a rather perfunctory, yet wildly entertaining, climax doesn't help either.
What helps greatly is Peter Hein's quench for the spectacular, and Lal's thirst and dedication to simply follow orders. Doing these stunts perfectly even at this age is no mean task, as is defeating a gargantuan animal. There is no way he could have gotten miscast for it is very much familiar territory for him (Read Naran). And, there was no chance of Hein missing his target given the form he is in.
When the two eventually meet in a much bloated out climax - boy it is payback time for us fans. And, even as we discover the sheer mediocrity of the thought and the brilliance of its craft unravel quickly: it is ironical that Lalettan has come bellowing back into reckoning, by defeating an already endangered species i.e. Or a gross non-entity depending on how you choose to perceive it. All one can say then - "Welcome Giant, may this be your hunting ground for a long time to come."
P.S. Like Russell Crowe from Gladiator - he might as well vanquish his nemesis, look at the converged audience and then, just say - Are you not entertained? WWW some might say, but good rhetoric nonetheless.
Critic: Sreejith Mullappally
2.5 out of 5 (Fairly Good)
WHAT THE RATINGS MEAN:
0.0 - 1.4 : Poor
1.5 - 1.7: Poor, A Few Good Parts
1.8 - 2.3: Average
2.4 - 2.9: Fairly Good
3.0 - 3.4: Good
3.5 - 5.0: Very Good