Master review: Perfect entertainer for Pongal

Thalapathy Vijay and Vijay Sethupathi lock horns in this mass entertainer

Source: SIFY

By: Kaushik LM

Critic's Rating: 3.5/5

Wednesday 13 January 2021

Movie Title

Master review: Perfect entertainer for Pongal


Lokesh Kanakaraj

Star Cast

Vijay, Vijay Sethupathi, Malavika, Arjun Das

First-day First show review

After several months of anticipation, Master finally released in theaters today with early morning shows.

This Lokesh Kanagaraj directorial pits Thalapathy Vijay against Makkal Selvan Vijay Sethupathi and offers a largely engaging experience despite its 3 hours runtime. The core story is centered around a juvenile correction home, and how professor John Durairaj (JD) stops the evil Bhavani from further exploiting young kids, corrupting their naive minds and turning them into criminals. 

Thalapathy is terrific as expected. His fit physique (unleashing an extended bare body sequence in the climax), an immense sense of style and swag, agility in action scenes, and emotional acting skills will be a feast to not just ardent fans of the star but even class audiences. The usual Vijayisms (social messages, punch dialogs, extravagant mannerisms) are kept under check though they are still effective inclusions. The star makes his political stance clear and also mouths noteworthy points about alcohol addiction.

Vijay Sethupathi proves yet again that he is an uninhibited performer of the highest order. He seems to have no rules or boundaries to limit his craft! Unlike Petta, he isn’t made a mockery of in the end. Despite being a hardcore villain, we’d still like Bhavani due to Sethupathi’s charming performance.

The film does move at a slow clip and Lokesh isn’t in any hurry to keep things flowing. There are multiple characters in two different settings (college and the juvenile home). Some of the characters don’t have anything to do and are just noted actors making an appearance in a prestigious big star film. Arjun Das is an actor to watch out with good screen presence and baritone voice while  Malavika Mohanan and Cibi are among the other support actors who leave a mark. The lead pair romance angle is largely toned down and it’s good to see Malavika get a part that flows with the core story.

Among the songs, ‘Vaathi Coming’ induces a celebratory mood in theaters. The way this song has been staged and built up is fantastic. Vijay’s energy and sharp dance moves are infectious, to say the least. In fact, right from his intro sequence till ‘Vaathi Coming’, the film takes off in top gear in the early part. Some of the other chartbuster songs like ‘Kutty Story’ and ‘Vaathi Raid’ don't leave much of an impact visually. The juvenile kids’ song ‘Pona Pogattum’ is part of the film’s emotional core and may leave you teary-eyed as JD breaks down finally, finds his life’s purpose, and turns over a new leaf! 

Stunt Silva shines in the action choreography department. The action blocks in the metro train and the intermission block are riveting, with Thalapathy in top form. The Ghilli throwback will be unforgettable! Credits also to cinematographer Sathyan Sooryan and Thalapathy’s stylists and costume designers; he looks and moves his best in Master! There’s a nice ‘I am waiting’ role reversal at the halfway mark which is another whistle worthy moment in the film.

Ultimately, Master is a different Vijay film as well as a different Lokesh film. Thalapathy just keeps growing from strength to strength while Lokesh leaves his mark in the ‘mass hero’ genre too. He makes a ‘kutty’ cameo appearance in the end credits and proudly showcases his Kamal fan image again by listing Nammavar (1994 Kamal starrer) as part of Master’s filmography. Despite its pace issues and the length, ‘JD’ Vijay and ‘Bhavani’ Vijay make it worthwhile. Expecting more interesting ‘mass’ films from Lokesh.

Verdict: Good fun for this festival season

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