When Shah Rukh Khan tweeted the trailer of Bigil, he added his comment saying it looks like Chak De on steroids. Well, to a great extent Bigil is exactly that. When Pink got remade into Tamil as Nerkonda Parvai, we saw Ajith trashing goons brutally and for anyone who has seen Pink, that kind of interpretation is somewhat over the top and what saves that remake is its intent of standing with the women. Bigil is also trying to achieve the same but in a more colourful way. The very first dialogue Vijay says in the movie is Happy Deepavali Nanba and that’s in a way Atlee telling you that my story will be over the top with a fair enough story at the end.
Michael our hero is an ex-state football team player and right now is more of a gangster. His friend Kathir is the coach of the Tamil Nadu state team and before leaving for Delhi for a tournament, Kathir decides to pay a visit to his mate Michael aka Bigil along with the team. But things kind of take a drastic turn at that point and the movie is about what lead to that event and also the damage control that happens after that event.
The movie started at 8 AM and I walked out at 11:10 AM. Yes! There are too many things happening on screen. But the negative and positive of this movie is that huge length. There are so many predictable scenes, usual romance and comedy happening in the movie. But at the same time, Atlee also manages to include the women empowerment angle of the story into the movie whenever the audience will think about something fresh or impactful. There is a scene where Vijay and Nayanthara go to the house of one of the players to persuade her orthodox family to let her play in the team. It could have been a scene where Vijay will speak about the inequality, passion etc but Atlee smartly makes the superstar a spectator and passes the mike to the lady superstar. Despite seeing all the exaggerated scenes of the heroism of which I am not really a fan of, the reason why I sort of enjoyed watching Bigil was because of these discrete moments that weren’t cheesy.
Vijay is in that festive hero mode. Michael will remind you of the playfulness with which he played his police character in Theri. So if you were a fan of that Vijay, then the performance won’t bother you much. As the older one Rayappan, Vijay is not that appealing as we could feel a sense of artificiality. In terms of screen time, Nayanthara has very little to do here. But like I said earlier, Atlee sort of knows how to place his heroine in scenes and thus Angel ultimately stays with you. Indhuja, Reba Monica John, Varsha Bollama, Amritha Aiyer, Indraja Shankar etc play the roles of the football players in the movie and they were all pretty convincing in terms of the emotional angle they brought. Kathir is there playing the role of a friend named Kathir. Vivek goes back to his usual role of doing pointless comedy. Yogi Babu is doing his usual stuff. Jackie Shroff is your typical villain imported from Bollywood. Daniel Balaji, Manobala, IM Vijayan and several other names are there in the film.
If you ask me to compare Bigil with the other Vijay-Atlee movies like Theri and Mersal, I would say the other two films I would even enjoy watching them on a small screen. Bigil feels more like a film that was made for a theatre viewing. Logic has no real role here in this film. Yogi Babu is a state-level football player, Vijay alone plays a match against a team 11 state players and wins, he fights the usual Maida Powder rubberized fight even after getting injected with heavy dosage of drugs and for some reason, a lot of the goalkeepers are almost out of the box (literally) while saving the goals. If that women empowerment angle, in which women surprisingly got more priority than the usually vivacious hero, was not there this movie would have been a mess. But Atlee is a packaging expert as he infuses gender disparity, color discrimination, body shaming etc in into the content and he even tries a diluted Vetri Maaran like anti-violence politics through the ideology of Rayappan. GK Vishnu’s cinematography is on the glossier side to make everything look grand. The visual effects of the movie, especially the football matches aren’t that great, but the big screen experience + the reduction in expectations due to the trailer visuals sort of made me feel okay about the quality of it. AR Rahman’s songs have that peppy energy and Singappenne was visually and musically exciting that it created waves even among the multiplex audience.
Kabir Khan of Chak De asked Preeti Sabarwal to run 10 rounds around the ground when she showed disobedience and in the end, he loudly says “I am the coach of Indian national women’s team”. In Bigil, Michael challenges a team of 11 state players against him; him alone for a football match, and scores 3 goals without letting them touch the ball. Just be mentally prepared to tackle that kind of heroism. Other than that this festival entertainer is enjoyable.
The very first dialogue Vijay says in the movie is Happy Deepavali Nanba and that’s in a way Atlee telling you that my story will be over the top with a fair enough story at the end.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended