'I' Review: Shankar's latest is more like 'Aiyo'!

'I' Review: Shankar's latest is more like 'Aiyo'!

Source: Sify

By: Sowmya Rajendran

Critic's Rating: 17/5

Monday 19 January 2015

Movie Title




Star Cast

Vikram, Amy Jackson, Santhanam, Suresh Gopi, Upen Patel, Ramkumar, Ojas Rajani

Shankar is known for the innovative ways in which he tortures characters in his vigilante films. By the end of 'I', however, the audience is likely to feel more tortured than any of the unhappy characters onscreen.

The film opens with a grotesque hunchback kidnapping a beautiful bride from her wedding. But who is the hunchback and how did he get that way? Erm...unless you?ve been living under a rock, you'd know who the hunchback is instantly but how he got that way is what forms the rest of the story.

A bodybuilder training to become Mr India, Lingesan (Vikram) is obsessed with Diya, a popular model (Amy Jackson). Till this point, the story marches along nicely. Vikram as the fresh-faced, innocent Lingesan charms your socks off with his galeej Tamil and straightforward ambitions. But then, Lingesan ends up meeting Diya and it's all downhill from there.

There are about three million villains in the film (or so you end up feeling) and they all gang up against Lingesan for utterly unconvincing and ridiculous reasons. My favourite however is the business tycoon (Ramkumar) whose empire is destroyed because Lingesan (a newbie model) tells the media that he won?t endorse a soft drink because it has pesticides in it. Consequently, the sales of all the products manufactured by the tycoon?s many companies fall. Because of this one-line statement that a model delivered to the media with zero proof. One wonders what pesticide-laden drink the writers of the film were drinking when they wrote the storyline to throw up such bilge.

Santhanam as Lingesan?s buddy, Babu, inserts his offensive jokes every now and then, providing a largely unfunny, lackluster comedy track. But the worst part has to be the way in which the transwoman Osma (Ojas Rajani) is treated in the film. It?s not that a transgender person can never play a negative role but Osma is ridiculed and regarded with contempt by Lingesan and Babu right from the beginning. They refer to her as 'idhu/adhu', not deigning to even consider her as human though she meets them first as a professional make-up artist. The revenge that Lingesan wreaks on her later in the film is also particularly insensitive to the transgender community. It isn't enough if a film-maker is up to date with technology alone; s/he also needs to grow in their sensitivity and sensibility.

The plot holes in the film are too many to count. As are the songs that keep popping up because something has to happen in this meaningless mayhem. (One of the songs goes 32-22-32...such a refreshing change from the objectifying 36-24-36 number from 'Panchatantiram', no?)

The visuals are stunning, the make-up work is great, Vikram?s performance is exceptional but none of it can save the film from falling apart. Amy Jackson does a decent job though she probably suffered from an 'Anniyan?' like multiple personality disorder while shooting for the movie: a white woman pretending to be a brown woman who uses Fair & Lovely to become a white woman. Wow.

Suresh Gopi plays a pivotal role though really, anyone with half a brain would have figured out his character way before the startling revelation is made.

On the whole, is 'I' as bad as the critics have made it out to seem? Let me just say, ?Adhukkum mela!?

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