Bhairava Tamil Movie Review
Let me start with a sort of disclaimer: Who said critics look down on "mass masala entertainers"? This is the notion that's been imbibed over the years with the sort of reviews that the so-called "fake masala entertainers" have earned. By "fake" I mean the sort of cinema that gets so centred on an individual or the so-called hero or on an overwhelming note, a demi-god to his millions of fans, that the movie hardly cares about any of the other aspects like a proper screenplay or a storyline or character arcs.
Coming back to the critical point, critics or reviewers like myself watch movies to get entertained and to convey it to others with our opinion without diplomacy. Why was that disclaimer - well, it's that time of the year where a star like Vijay has come up with his 60th flick and to commemorate the occasion he has served a generic masala for his loyal fanbase with the director of his choice.
The story is about a "super" loan collection agent, Bairavaa (who else but Vijay) who can extract loans from the toughest goons. He bumps into Malarvizhi (obviously the current heartthrob Keerthi Suresh), who seems to be in a soup with a baddie, Periyakannu or PK (the dashing Jagapathi Babu). Yes, you've guessed it right - Bairavaa sets things right for Malarvizhi and family and obviously makes her fall for his charms over a period of 160 minutes.
The classic "Vijay template" has been rediscovered with the stalest screenplay, forced cliches, sentiments, romance and songs choreographed in farthest ice-clad locales, poor jokes, goons in different sizes and a variety of hairpieces, children and women-centric melodrama, a sinister backstory to prepare the audience for a more fruitful second half, helmed by Bairavaa and last but not the least, making Vijay roam throughout the movie with a bad wig (but slightly better than how he appears in the song "Oru chinna thamarai" from Vettaikaaran).
The first half of the movie, though starts with some missteps with a not-so-impressive introduction from Vijay and a mock cricket match that attempts to place Vijay on par with some of the international cricketers (wtf?!), gathers pace just before the interval. I was hoping that the momentum would continue until the climax, but naah! As expected it was the one-to-one clash between Jagapathi Babu and Vijay, but how good it could have been had there been a more "intelligent" screenplay in the lines of "Thuppakki". Instead, there was a continuum of challenges flavoured with songs and punch dialogues, making way for an exhausting experience.
Sathish, whose comedy seems to have a Santhanam flavour has given a shot at entertaining with his hit-and-miss one-liners, but Motta Rajendran was clearly out-of-sync. Music by Santhosh Narayanan was quite a disappointment, except for his standardised off-the-shelf thematic number "Varlaam Varlaam Vaa" which was sung by Arunraja with a crushed voice with Santhosh Narayan's signature swagger.
Some of the things I liked were the character of Keerthi Suresh - a big relief from the "loosu ponnu" sketch, villain Jagapathi Babu, who looked menacing and better than Vijay in terms of charisma and performance and finally a good back story - though overboard, entailed a lot of reality and put things in a boil for the rest of the movie.
It's yet another iteration of a mashup of the star's past flicks, served with more masala. As for liking the movie, it begs the question - are you a Vijay fan or not?