Bigil Review: Predictable but an enjoyable festive entertainer from Vijay!
Atlee and Vijay have already delivered back to back hits together with ‘Theri’ and ‘Mersal’. ‘Bigil’ is their latest attempt to score a hattrick of hits and it is safe to say that the film has the potential to emerge a huge hit at the box office.
‘Bigil’ starts off with a protest in college where innocent students get beaten up by the Minister’s gang disguised as policemen. Like in a typical star-vehicle, the stage is set for a mass hero entry. The students run for help and reach out to the man we await eagerly to appear on screen. Yes, we now get the intro fight followed by the intro song. You name all the existing cliches in a Tamil mass entertainer, ‘Bigil’ has it all.
It has always been the case with Atlee’s films. There is nothing extraordinary in his storylines. More often than not, his films are the rehash of some yesteryear films, preferably a popular classic. ‘Bigil’ also follows this same template. It is a mix of ‘The Godfather’ or ‘Thevar Magan’ and ‘Chak De India’. But what works in Atlee’s favour is his knack to properly package a big star film.
In ‘Bigil’, Vijay plays a dual role as the aged gangster Rayappan and his son Michael aka Bigil, a State level football player. Circumstances force Bigil to leave football and instead take up the sword. While he prefers staying away from the sport, fate has it that he returns to the field as a coach of the State woman’s team. Overcoming all the obstacles, how Michael helps the team to win the cup is all ‘Bigil’ is about.
After the highly promising initial 20 minutes with the intro fight and the rocking ‘Verithanam’ track, the film drags as it takes time to establish the characters and their back stories. Add to that, the romance track between Vijay and Nayanthara doesn’t work out either with the ‘Unakkaga’ song also acting as a big jerk. The introduction of Rayappan’a character once again holds our interest but when we see all the hype that this character got, wish it had a bit more punch. Still Vijay has done his best to portray this role as the voice modulation and body language are totally different from usual style.
As Michael aka Bigil, Vijay is back at his naughty self that he is being doing in all Atlee films. However funny it may appear, it is quite evident that the actor goes overboard at times. Moreover, even Nayanthara was found wanting to get the North Madras slang and the comic timing right.
Coming to the second half, Atlee brings football to the front and thereby infuses all the social messages that are associated with these big star films. Though the film is said to be a dedication for women, there is a patronizing tone throughout. We regularly see Vijay advising and giving life lessons to his players. There are umpteen number of these small messages in the film and most of them are extremely loud.
Among the supporting cast, Reba Monica John and Varsha Bollamma get two well fleshed out characters and they have done their parts well. Induja, the actress who played Thendral, Kathir, Daniel Balaji, Rohini, Yogi Babu and Anand Raj are the other notable actors. Actor Robo Shankar’s daughter has done a role in the film. The character is supposed to be a statement against body shaming but ironically the makers themselves have shown her in poor light by making her look purposely gigantic on screen.
GK Vishnu’s cinematography is praiseworthy especially in the song sequences but the same cannot be said about the football scenes. Considering the huge budget at which the film has been made, the excessive special effects used to capture the grandeur in football games haven’t come out well. Except for the songs, AR Rahman’s work is ordinary but he along with Atlee add to the goosebumps in one particular song.
Rahman’s foot-tapping ‘Bigil Bigiluma’ song in which Vijay and Nayanthara dance together was an absolute screamer of a moment. Ruben could have edited out a lot of portions and made the stunts more racy. But he has done well to maintain the thrill of watching a football match.
Overall, Bigil is a highly predictable but thoroughly entertaining Vijay starrer that has everything in it to set the box office on fire. Looks like Atlee-Vijay combo will be making waves this Diwali.