Cobra Tamil Movie
In Theaters: INDIA
Vikram's rise to stardom has been like the phoenix rising from the ashes. He was the poster boy of new-age Kollywood in the early 2000s. The roles that he used to pick were power-packed, and at the same time, created a mass impact. He has also taken the road less traveled with films like 'Pithamagan' which fetched him his only national award, and 'Deiva Thirumagal' in which he played the role of a mentally challenged person.
However, the last recognizable hit for Vikram that I could recollect is 'Anniyan', released in 2005. After that, all other movies neither appealed to the masses nor did well at the box office. Vikram, the method actor, delivers his best for every film. The choice of roles have let him down.
Director Ajay Gnanamuthu, who is coming from two blockbusters like 'Demonte Colony' and 'Imaikkaa Nodigal', has been taking too long a time with 'Cobra'. With an actor like Vikram, and some fancy promotional posters with the actor in wild looks, the expectations skyrocketed. Did the director deliver the goods? Did his partnership with Vikram yield the desired results?
Right off the bat, I am still decoding the plot of 'Cobra'. The movie's plot is a maze that might only be known to the cast and crew. Let me narrate the outline as much as I can understand. A few famous international assassinations take place. Aslan (Irfan Pathan), from the Turkish Interpol, is asked to nail the criminal. His team pins it on a mathematics teacher, Mathiyazhagan (Vikram), as all the crimes involve an element of mathematics and number play. Is the maths teacher the real culprit? Who is Cobra? What is the relationship between Cobra and Mathiyazhagan? The movie attempts to answer this and does more.
Among the many issues that the movie inherently had, the prominent ones were the narrative and Vikram's role as a middle-aged, timid maths teacher, who is wildly chased by a lady like Srinidhi Shetty. Vikram is too old for all these romantic spells. However good an actor he might be, toying with a natural aspect like age would make one look like a clown. Silly romance and clueless murders dominate a good part of the first half.
The role had a psychological angle too. Hallucinations and trauma make the role more complicated. The narrative suffers a great deal because of all these shortcomings. Periodic songs and the erratic nature of the screenplay hampers the movie from engaging the viewers. The plot idea sounds decent. The director has thought through certain aspects that could have been commendable had casting was right.
Vikram, who is supposed to be the biggest draw for this movie, happens to be the biggest drawback. This role requires a much younger actor. Also, the reason behind Srinidhi's blind love for Vikram has not been established well. It goes down as a dry, unjustified romance. Irfan Pathan comes across as another hot-headed North Indian supporting actor who struggles to get the lip sync right.
An actor like Roshan Mathew was wasted in a role that could have been pulled off by any young upcoming supporting actor. Mrinalini had a generic role that felt like it was written in a rush. Meenakshi's role as an assistant to Irfan Pathan was very insignificant. Likewise, KS Ravikumar, Miya George, and others were clueless in their roles. The casting had significant names but they were employed to little effect.
Vikram's different looks seemed to be a gimmick to promote the film. It was more like the looks that he portrayed in 'Rajapattai', which had little significance to the role. The prosthetics looked very artificial and tacky. Cinematography and editing were par for the course. The production looked rich. Music and BGM by AR Rahman lifted certain emotional scenes to an extent that they were acceptable.
Director Ajay Gnanamuthu seemed to have had a great vision. Until now, no one has infused mathematics into a crime thriller. The thought process should be lauded. However, the screenplay and execution were messy. The choice of actor to play such a role is not Vikram or anyone of his age. That was the biggest setback for this movie apart from its weak narrative. Hoping for better times ahead for the actor and the director!