Direction : Atlee
Production : N. Ramasamy (Thenandal Studio Limited)
Starring : Vijay, Nithya Menon, Samantha, Kajal Aggarwal, SJ Surya
Music : A. R. Rahman
Cinematography : G. K. Vishnu
Editing : Ruben
So what’s this story of Mersal all about?
Dr. Maaran is alleged for kidnap of few people working in a hospital and eventually gets arrested by Sathyaraj. Dr. Maaran reveals about incidents that happened during his visit to foreign country to get felicitated by World Medical Council. But eventually, he ends up murdering a well reputed doctor from Tamil Nadu (Hareesh) during his magic show. As the interrogation extends, the officer is shocked to know that he isn’t Dr. Maaran, but Vetri (again played by Vijay), a magician.
So is it a routine revenge based film, where hero wants to seek revenge upon baddie for a reason?
Yes, the plot might sound stereotypical to a certain extent as we have seen in few movies. But the way, it is presented through unique storytelling needs special mention.
Vijayendra Prasad of world famous Baahubali franchise has written screenplay, isn’t it?
Yes, the same writer has penned screenplay for this film. Much specifically, we can easily notice his trademark signatures here as when compared with Baahubali. The sequences like Vijay in flashback sequence saving villagers, the baby declared dead getting life. These moments bestow us some excitements. In a film with mass hero like Vijay, it’s hard for such writing skills to get noticed and Vijayendra Prasad eventually proves his screenwriting prowess again.
Vijay already performed dual roles in Azhagiya Tamizh Magan and Kaththi. How does he perform here in this movie?
Vijay has taken special efforts over his looks, mannerisms and body language for this film. As magician Vetri, he exhibits a fun-filled nature with cute expressions, Dr. Maaran as a matured and innocent person. Finally, Vetrimaaran as the vintage one that actually steals the show, where he tries a new slang of down south Tamil… He has even worked out well physically and looks fit.
There are three heroines in the film and how about their performances…
Samantha, Kajal Aggarwal and Nithya Menen have played the female lead roles. To be precise, both Samantha and Kajal Aggarwal have around 3-4 scenes in the film. But it is Nithya Menen, who gets major portions to steal the show. She has done a remarkable job dubbing in her own voice with the Madurai regional slang in Tamil. In fact, the episodes involving Vijay and Nithya Menen are so cute when compared with the ones involving Samantha and Kajal Aggarwal.
SJ Surya has been regarded as one of the best attractions in Mersal. How well does he perform?
A film with mass hero is half declared successful, when there is a powerful villain on the other side. In this context, Mersal gets lucky enough to have an actor like SJ Surya play the baddie. It is a rare situation these days to find an actor in negative role win huge appreciation and respect from audiences. Obviously, SJ Surya gets privileged to enjoy this reception, where his makeovers in flashback and current portions are very well designed. The scene where he says to another doctor, “Now you get tensed to hear the term cesarean right. After 30 years, people we get shocked if someone says, a lady had natural delivery.” Such instances were noticed earlier with actors like MR Radha, where being antagonist, audiences would appreciate such hilarious takes on societal issues.
The film has a huge star-cast that involves Sathyaraj, Vadivelu, Sathyan and Kovai Sarala.
Although, there are so many prominent actors in the film, some of them appear for more not more than 3-4 scenes. But they way Atlee has set their sequences give a feeling that they have been travelling all throughout the film. This is a very difficult task for a director to handle so many actors in a grand budgeted film. He has to be appreciated for such an extensive planning of shooting such a film in limited time period.
AR Rahman’s songs are too limited and running length of this film is almost 3 hours. How does it get balanced?
Usually, AR Rahman albums would have minimum of 6-7 songs, but this one has just 4 songs. Among them, 3 songs are placed by first half and second hour gets ‘Aalaporaan Tamizhan’, which leaves the entire theatres in high amazement. Cinematographer Vishnu has carried film on his shoulders with stunning visuals. In fact, the song sequencing are something different from usual movies. We have never a romantic duet as the first song in any Vijay movie and here ‘Macho’ gets to be on that spot. Although, Neethaane is a beautiful melody, the placement doesn’t suit well. If placed in a right situation during an emotional sequence, this song would have been highly cherishing.
Having said that the film is almost 3 hrs, does it keep audiences intact?
The running length of this film 2hrs 47mins and the first half is engaging moving at rapid pace. Especially, the twist of surprise that comes by intermission is a huge treat to Vijay fans. But the second half gets slightly dragged up and it could have been trimmed to a certain extent. Nevertheless, Vijay fans have their delight watching the performance of their matinee idol.
A film with social message and production values happens to be integral part of Shankar movies. Does Atlee try to exhibit his mentor’s traits here?
We could probably say ‘Yes’. In many sequences, be the camera projection, locations or the way how songs are shot, it seems to be highly influenced by Shankar. The final moments, where Vijay interacts is yet another illustration of many Shankar and AR Murugadoss movies. But somehow, it gets well pitched with Vijay fans.
Verdict : Socio-commercial entertainer with revenge and social issue as the backdrops
Rating : 6/10
#Vijay #Mersal #Atlee #SriThenandalFilms #Samantha #Kajal #NithyaMenen #Ruben #MersalMovieReview #ARRahman
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