The one-liner concept of the film Mike has noble intentions for sure. A girl deciding to opt for gender affirmation surgery is the theme of “Mike.” Even though it isn’t following the same trajectory as Njan Marykutti, Mike is confused about how to place the theme in its story. When you have to create a scene where one character will be introduced to tell the audience what is happening in the story, I personally feel that shows the lack of confidence of the makers. Mike is an unimpactful attempt that ultimately falters.
Sara is this young tomboyish girl from Kattappana. Her dynamic with her mother is not smooth, and she is someone who prefers to hang around with boys. One day she decided to opt for gender affirmation surgery, leaving her house unannounced. The journey of Sara and how the entry of a stranger named Antony makes that journey a bit different is what we see in Mike.
A plot about gender swap slowly slipping into the idea of the freedom of a particular gender is not a thought that needs to be scrapped. But Ashiq Akbar Ali’s writing is not sure how to transition the story smoothly. And the way we see that transition in Mike is so cheesy that it almost felt like they weren’t brave about approaching the other theme. The main reason for the dullness, I think, is the backstory-oriented narration that has no charm to its credit, especially the one of Antony, which consumes a significant chunk of the first half. Even when it goes to the backstory of Sara, it doesn’t feel like a triggering reason.
One needs to empathize with the characters of Antony and Sara if the movie needs to work on an emotional level. The beta Arjun Reddy life and Himalayan journey self-awakening of Antony feels very superficial. The reason for Sara’s decision also feels far too abrupt. The emphasis is more on the insignificant bits. The Antony story rarely connects with you and has no connection with the core theme. The slow-motion rain fight captured by Renadive looks stunning for sure. Still, the purpose of such a stylized fight somewhere shows Vishnu Sivaprasad is more interested in presenting the story in a “cool” way rather than making an effort to add an emotional layer. Hesham Abdul Wahab’s music was fine, but somewhere I felt the movie was saturated with music.
Anaswara Rajan yet again delivers an excellent performance. Body language and emotional vulnerability were crucial elements in a performance like this, and she handled those aspects maturely. The Kalari sequence was also fabulous. Debutant Ranjith Sajeev, with his model-like physique, looks immaculate. But in terms of expressions and dialogue delivery, he reminded me of the limitations of the film’s producer, John Abraham. Dayyana Hameed, Sini Abraham, Abhiram Radhakrishan, Akshay Radhakrishnan, etc., are the other major names in the cast.
Mike is a movie that runs out of ideas after setting up its unique premise. From Anaswara Rajan’s character explaining the perks of being a male to another character talking about when exactly gender affirmations surgery is the right choice, there is a preachy tone to this movie’s narration. Having an impact was the ultimate goal of the film, but the imbalanced screenplay somewhere blurred Mike’s focus.
Having an impact was the ultimate goal of the film, but the imbalanced screenplay somewhere blurred Mike's focus.
Green: Recommended Content
Orange: The In-Between Ones
Red: Not Recommended