Master Movie Review Rating: 3.5 / 5 stars (three and a half stars)
Star Cast: Thalapathy Vijay, Vijay Sethupathi, Malvika Mohanan, Arjun Das and ensemble
Director: Lokesh Kanagaraj
What is good: Two bigger Vijays get together and do their best. The distinctive booty of the two is in the limelight and what more does a fan need?
What is bad: While Vijay (Thalapathy) gets the most screen time, we fail to connect with his past life, diluting the goal. There is also predictability.
Loo break: Maybe when the movie gets a little too predictable and makes it fast-paced, you might miss a “paisa vasool” action sequence.
Watch or not ?: I would suggest watching it. It’s been ages since we’ve seen a local masala artist on the big screen, 10 months for me. You have to indulge yourself. Also Thala is dancing here, I gave you another reason.
A JD (Vijay) university professor is assigned to a correctional facility condemned by the evil Bhavani (Vijay Sethupathi). Events bring JD to know the filthy business run under the disguise of a reform house and takes the reign to stop it.
Master Movie Review: Script Analysis
Lokesh Kanagaraj, one of the members of the new wave cinema, chose a perfect story to bring audiences back to the big screens. Although basic, it unites masala with sensitivity and gives it a perfect balance. Add two of the South’s biggest movie stars, and Kanagaraj has the best deal possible.
In Master, he creates two different worlds, not only metaphorically but visually. Not that the script is something we haven’t really witnessed. What saves the day is execution. To create an impact that stays with the audience, Kanagaraj first introduces his antagonist. A devil in human skin Bhavani, who was tortured in a foster family and made the same thing his weapon. Just when we as the audience and the people in the frame don’t know who can save them, we meet JD. A teacher or “master” who has his own way of educating students. The entrance to Thalapathy is a celebration in itself. About that later.
What does it do? First, it allows us more than ever to root the protagonist, since we have seen the monster of a human that is the antagonist. Second, he gives his two characters the same images regardless of the nuance. Kanagaraj is smart when it comes to providing both screen times. It keeps the track posts separate until the last crossing. A smart view when the weight is high on both sides.
There is incredible action, emotion, dancing and dialogue, all that the respective fans of both signed up for. It’s a Vijay gala and you have to learn how to whistle before entering the movie theater.
What Lokesh Kanagaraj’s writing doesn’t do justice to is JD’s story. He focuses too much on his academic columns, which have too little effect on the end product. There is no sufficient justification as to why he is a drunkard or what his true story is. The plot twist sometimes gets too predictable. A villain targeting the hero’s relatives to break him is now dead.
There are references to the hero’s old characters, and that adds a nice layer. But there are also some glaring messages about addiction in a scene that goes preaching and takes you out of the full experience.
Main movie review: star performance
This is a show of the Vijays and worth every penny you spent on them. Sethupathi and Thalapathy are in the best areas. Starting with Thalapathy, he brings a slight charm to the screen. The way he dances, or hits bad guys, or even wipes his lips with the corner of his shirt, there’s swag and plenty of it. It’s nothing new for a Southern hero to have all of the above, but Thalapathy, for some reason, sells it with the greatest skill here. His dance routines deserve a whole new look. Does he teach?
What more can I say about Vijay Sethupathi that hasn’t already been said. The actor who certainly could’ve put in a lot of effort to get into the gray character makes him look like a cake walk. His evil demeanor, the gaze or just the movement of his hand reflects dominance, then he spells these lines out and you know why he’s one of the greatest.
Speaking of the supporting cast, Kanagaraj fails to write them down as a whole. These are people with a tone that has nothing but the purpose with which they are presented. Shanthnu Bhagyaraj, whom I loved in Paava Kadhaigal recently, doesn’t really have much to do here. Not just him, the main lady Malavika Mohanan also ends up being a vehicle to take the plot from one twist to the next.
Arjun Das deserves special mention here. In a nicely edged part compared to the others, he does his role justice. Also a question if he reads this, is this voice real? It’s so powerful! I am looking for an answer from Andhaghaaram.
Master Movie review: Direction, Music
Lokesh Kanagaraj is a one-man army here. As thrilling as the story looks on paper, he did his best to translate it to the screen. With the help of cinematographer Sathyan Sooryan, he manages to visually divide his story into two different worlds. A blue and windy around JD, and painted blood red around Bhavani. In her leadership, Kanagaraj does a good job of staying within limits and obsessing over her setup.
Sooryan with his camera dances with Thalapathy Vijay and it’s so much more fun. He also tries to introduce his own metaphors, with sunlight on one side and a dark tone on the other. Anirudh Ravichander’s music is well conceptualized. He defines the nuances with music. Watching the mainstream Tamil superstar hum to jazz music is unusual but not impossible, Anirudh proves it.
Master Movie Review: The Last Word
The master is neither the best nor the most perfect, but it is entertainment. He has the masala (and don’t get the obvious interpretation when I say that). You’ll have to have a suspension of disbelief, but once Vijays starts the action, they sell it in the package, just like the guy at the window gave me a mask with the ticket! Look at Master.
Master releases January 13, 2020.
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