One question plagued my mind before and after I watched the movie. I was thinking why the director chose to name the movie as “Iru mugan”. Neither Love or Akilan Vinod (both played by Vikram) are two faced. In fact, you can’t see more precise and stereotyped characters like the two. After sometime, it dawned upon me that the title refers to the hero and not the characters in the movie. And this hero worship coupled with narcissism has cost the movie dear.
Iru mugan is a story of a tussle between an Indian RAW agent, Akilan Vinod and an international drug dealer, Love. Vikram does sizzle with the roles. There is no doubt that he is a good actor and his transgender ‘Love’ is an epitome of it. But why Love should be a transgender? Does it really matter to the story? For instance, the effeminate character of Shivashankar in Varalaru ( played by Ajith) matters because it forms the crux of the conflict. In Iru mugan, Love is transgender because the director needs something for Vikram to show-off his acting skills. This was the case in “I” too. The narcissistic parade of a wonderful actor like Vikram is slowly becoming cringe worthy than appreciable.
Iru mugan is just another masala movie that tries too hard to impress you. Anand Shankar (director, Arima Nambi) attempts to show off his research by spilling out verbiages now and then. While you can appreciate the speed drug idea, the amphetamine that was exploited by the Nazi party (the Swastik earring worn by one of the fighters is nifty detailing) to keep the soldiers active, Anand Shankar fails miserably in other elements. The movie consists of the usual Tamil cinema conventions – chloroform and laughing gas is freely available at a hospital, there is that usual twist because you just can’t have a highly paid actress for just two songs and so bring in some retrograde amnesia in to the screenplay, the Malaysian police are as stupid as Indian cinema police as they can’t identify a criminal in plain sight and above all throw terminologies when you want confuse the audience ( listen to the chemical composition Love spews at the hospital). There are more and more laughable logical mistakes that you will unearth in the movie until the last moment (the final scene is a clincher in that sense), but the movie is little less stupid than other masalas in Tamil cinema.
As Vikram takes over the screen most of the time, Nayanthara and Nithya Menen are so stone faced that you actually believe that all RAW agents should be like that. Thambi Ramayya evokes laughter at certain places and Karunakaran is there like every other movie nowadays. It is painful to see talented Rhythvika in another inconsequential role. And Harris Jayaraj, please retire. Or maybe, provide us with earbuds to counter the loud background score. The creative dearth is so palpable that even his machines might revolt against the rehash of his tunes.
The other reviews that you might read will boast the raciness of the movie and how Vikram has pushed the envelope in acting. I don’t deny the fact that the movie is racy and less illogical than other movies but the bigger question is whether there is a need to develop characters just to feed the acting expertise of an artist? It doesn’t matter whether “Love” is transgender – he can be a dwarf, a fully grown man or woman or even a Robot. The character has been crafted for Vikram to flaunt his acting skills, body language and whatnot. When you start building a screenplay around that idea, it fails miserably. It happened to Shankar in “I” and the history has repeated itself with Iru mugan. This is hero worship of a different kind and it’s no better than the other.
I go with 2/5 for Iru mugan and watch it if you are a Vikram fan.
P.S., I expect comments that will start with the following question – “Can you act like Vikram?” – The answer is “No” and I am not an actor. I am just a movie reviewer.