Aadhi Bhagavan Movie Review

aadhi-bhagavan-movie-stills-19Production: J. Anbazhagan
Cast: Jayam Ravi, Neetu Chandra, Sudha Chandran
Direction: Ameer
Screenplay: Ameer
Story: Ameer
Music: Yuvan Shankar Raja
Background score: Yuvan Shankar Raja
Direction: Ameer
Screenplay: Ameer
Story: Ameer
Music: Yuvan Shankar Raja
Background score: Yuvan Shankar Raja
Cinematography: K. Devaraj, R. B. Gurudev
Editing: S. P. Ahmed
Stunt choreography: Rajasekar
Dance choreography: Dinesh
Singers: Madhushree, Manasi Scott, Mohit Chauhan, Rahul Nambiar, Sathyan, Sharib Sabri, Shreya Ghoshal, Shweta Pandit, The Prophecy, Udit Narayan
Lyrics : Arivumathi, Manoj, Snehan
PRO: Nikhil Murugan
Distribution: Anbu Pictures

Ameerin Aadhi Bhagavan (AAB) releases today after being in the making for more than two years. The lead actors, Jayam Ravi and Neetu Chandra, have invested all their time and effort to make this movie worthy of their presence. Coming with the tagline ‘A Mafioso Action Love Story’, the movie majorly happens in Thailand and India. So, is it worth the wait and will it join the list of memorable gangster movies?

The plot of the movie revolves around the mafia as the tagline says and elements like betrayal, mystery and politics are also part of the mix. There is also one major spike which gives the movie a huge fillip just before the halfway point. And as expected, being an Ameer product, the film has its fair share of raw violence, gritty action and in fact there is a certain manic streak in the entire movie.

Pre-release, Ameer had said that if he had to work again with the same hero, he would opt for Jayam Ravi and now we realize why he said so. AAB is definitely Ravi’s most daring and gutsy performance till date. In two absolutely varying roles, the star has put his heart and soul into the movie. He is quick in his moves during the action sequences and the suspense behind his second role better be guarded, because that is when the movie picks up some pace and interest after a bland first half which moves along like Scarface. Characters like Sudha Chandran and Ravi’s sister that come in the first half are cliched and wasted. Ravi has also seemingly worked on his voice modulation to make it sound stern and rough.

Neetu Chandra surprises with her character which is not a typical ‘damsel in distress’ role. Her expertise at taekwondo comes in handy when she has to do some ass-kicking towards the end. But, her lip sync for her Tamil dialogs is below-par, truth to tell.

Babu Antony appears in the initial portions of the movie before disappearing after the action shifts to India. Former lead actress Sakshi grooves harmoniously for the ‘Yeisalamey’ number but her visage has aged obviously.

The stunt sequences are definitely among the other highlights of the movie. The action is really chaotic, raw and the cinematographer Devaraj has made sure that his camera has captured the action from close quarters. The chase sequence in Goa in the climax and all the fist combats in both the halves have been done painstakingly. But, the action might hurt the eye too as the cuts are quick and abrupt.

The movie definitely has its share of other flaws like the overdose of Hindi in the movie. Tamil dialogues have been superimposed over the existing track and despite the disclaimer before the movie starts and before the interval, we get the feeling that we are seeing a dubbed movie. The lip sync for this ‘Tamil on top of Hindi’ routine, leaves a lot to be desired and this proves unsettling.

One may feel that even the other Ravi character’s mannerisms and gestures are stretched, making them appear artificial. The actor sure seems to have a taste for the theatrics as evidenced in his second role.

The pace of the movie is laborious in the first half and Aadhi Bhagavan is definitely not one of those movies which scores on the brevity front.

Yuvan Shankar Raja’s songs don’t have much of a presence in the movie, with two of the romantic melodies totally chopped off. One feels even the ‘Kaatriley Nadandhene’ track could have been done away with. The Bhagavan rap gels with the movie while the ‘Agadam Bagadam’ song towards the end dampens the proceedings just as they become tense. Yuvan’s background score is apt enough for the action genre of the movie.

So, after 6 years we have an Ameer directed movie and though this movie is in stark contrast to his earlier movies thanks to its commercial intentions, it is still worth a trip to the theaters thanks to Jayam Ravi’s versatility and the action set pieces in the movie. Though the movie as a whole is watchable and bearable, a little more sprucing and tightening could have helped matters even more.
Verdict: Not for everyone, the movie has a manic streak and if you have the stomach for raw action movies, check out Bhagavan.

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