Murugadoss made a dream debut in Tamil with his Ghajini. He carried this success to Bollywood too remaking the same movie, and even bettering it by improving the original climax. I thought that was a very good gesture from his side, recognising mistakes and improving. Ghajini, of course was inspired by Memento. It is sure that Murugadoss is a fan of Hollywood and he gains lots of inspirations from the west. It is normal for people to expect a lot when this talented director joins his favourite star actor, Surya, again. This time, it is not possible to say that Murugadoss is directly inspired by any single movie, to my knowledge. But he has sure understood the Hollywood mantra of fear and disaster.
If this movie came in without the first 20 or 25 minutes, when movie dates back to many centuries, it would have still passed out as an average Indian entertainer, which have tried out the above Hollywood mantras. Here Murugadoss have picked up a kind of virus induced fever, which had its origin before 1600 years, to create the fear factor. And just like in Hollywood, he has picked a villain from a different country. Obviously China is a good choice, as there are heated debates as to whether China could be a real friend or if we should treat them as an enemy. I really felt Murugadoss did a Hollywood here and he does just ok. The plot is not quite strong and sounds bit silly too.
But it is the first 20 or 25 minutes which makes and kills this movie. These first minutes, are truly brilliant. It is in this part we are taken back to 1600 years, when Bodhi Dharma travels from India to China. Each and every single frame in this part is truly brilliant. I felt proud watching those scenes to be frank.
And in the negative, these 20 minutes gives us a very big hope that this movie is going to be a truly brilliant one. Unfortunately not. Even if the movie was released only with the first 20 minutes, as a short film, it would have been excellent.
When the movie comes back to the contemporary period, as mentioned earlier, it tends to be just ordinary. Lots of songs, at least couple of them are completely unnecessary, typical scenes which are reminiscent of similar Hollywood and Indian attempts and what not.
But even in between, there are some exceptional factors:
The Chinese villain, who has this ability to control the mind of others is one of those. As somebody wrote, A Hero can be as great as the villain only. So here Murugadoss has created an exceptional villain. And the Chinese actor who did this role is brillaint too.
An action scene, when the villain makes many motorists to try and kill the hero and heroine, I would say is the second highlight of the movie. I dont even know how long this scene was, as it was so nicely executed. A scene which will guarantee adrenaline rush. Brilliant.
There are so many moments, scattered through out the movie, which let us have a peak at the talents of Murugadoss. With a very good script, this director can do wonders. I really liked the way in which how he showed the killings done by the Villain, without showing anything at all.
The performance of Surya. It is like a multiple role for Surya and what an actor he is. His charm is incredible and he really can act. Both as Bodhi Dharman and Arvind, he was brilliant.
A scene where the heroine argues for Tamil language. I think, this could have been scripted and shot better, but the message clearly comes out. It was still a very good attempt.
It is a pity that this movie turned out this way, as an ordinary entertainer. Blame the brilliance of the beginning scenes may be, or blame the script and director for not thinking and planning over time.
I hope Shahrukh Khan watch this movie. There is so much for him to learn from it, may it be acting or execution or characterisation or what not. I think, Amir Khan might definitely want to remake this movie.