Master - Film Review
Prof. Selvam was a big inspiration when I was still in school. In the climax of the film “Nammavar”, a title which Mr. Kamal Hassan’s supporters have been liberally using for his political posters, advises the young ones that “Change” will take time, but one shouldn’t expect immediate results as the system has been corrupted for a long time. 25+ years later, Prof. John Durairaj also concludes in the film with a similar message. That we should keep trying for improvements and never stop becoming better – at things around us as well as ourselves. While everything was reasonably good with Vijay’s Master, the Kutti story that was intended was a tad too long – spanning almost 180 minutes.
Lokesh Kanagaraj, who’s “Kaithi” feat. Karthi had a great outing a year back has been on the news ever since his “Master” feat. not one but two Vijay namesakes was announced. Along with the veteran Vijay (Sr.), we also have Vijay Sethupathi who plays a negative role yet again after Vikram Vedha (with Madhavan), Petta (with Rajinikanth). Honestly, he’s getting stale in this role as we don’t see much changes in his demenour. For ex., Tamil Cinema has witnessed comedians like Thengai Srinivasan and Nagesh or yesteryear Heros like Jaishankar playing baddies in many movies. But VJS has still a long way to go and must perhaps reinvent himself, both as a hero and as a baddie. The film has also been in the block as theatres and multiplexes were shut down for over 8 months due to Covid-19 restrictions. Master will also be historic for being the first Tamil film to go on the big screen after the theatres reopened while Penguin feat. Keerthy Suresh was the first one to go on the OTT Platform and Surya's Surarai Potru was the first big-name film to be telecast directly on an OTT.
Vijay, the Master rocks the movie all through the 180 mins, right from the word Go. Initially shown as a terminal alcoholic, a sudden turn of event makes him give up alcohol for good and turns a good leaf from then onwards. In another scene, VJS declares himself to be a tee-totaller and curses everyone who drink to just suffer. While I was apprehensive about “Master’s” drinking habits all through the first half, he also confesses his predicaments which drove him towards alcohol and justifying or eulogising the habit will only make more people addicted to the dreaded beverage. While there has been much spoken about alcohol addiction, I wish there was more emphasis on the usage of drugs by the younger lot which is what the movie is more about.
Bhavani (VJS) is a local don and uses kids from juvenile homes where he once grew up as a cover for all grave local crimes such as murder and dacoity, by inciting drugs, cigarettes and alcohol on them from a young age. John Durairaj (Vijay) teaches Behavioural Therapy at St. Josephs Graduate College and gets transferred to the Home and cleanses the system, eventually killing Bhavani and chooses to go to prison, even as a kiddo proposes to cover him up which he refuses to and announces the purpose of his cleansing efforts.
Malavika Mohanan as heroine makes a cameo along with the likes of Shantnu, Sriman, Andrea, VJ Ramya among others in a few scenes. Other than Vijay and VJS, there are half a dozen characters in the film who all play a small (and mostly meaningless) role in the overall scheme of things. But there are simply too many people which have been brought in all through the film, which at times one feels is simply not required. Therefore, the length of the film has also been unduly extended.
Anirudh has proved yet again that he is indeed a Rockstar and has scored fantastic BGM for the film as well as given 9 tunes for the film, of which two were released a fewdays before. Kutti Story has been a chartbuster already for a year and is set to remain a favourite for fans and fraternity alike. Lokesh appears in the last scene with a metaphoric dialogue that people could have seen many “Kaithis” but this Master is a special one. And when Vijay utters the dialogue that there are a crore followers for him who cannot be dissuaded, I am sure his fans had the best time while viewing – the first time and every time. Watching a blockbuster like this on Amazon Prime with snacks and dinner was another experience which is for another post!