Mersal movie review Thalapathy Vijay’s enigmatic presence and Atlee’s class direction assures a crackling Diwali

Here’s our review of Thalapathy Vijay’s Mersal directed by Atlee.

The day we have been waiting for is finally here! A few days ago, the film’s release was uncertain but that did little damage to the buzz around Mersal. Shows as early as 1 am have been organised and they will go on till 11am. This is not a movie but a festival in itself. Thalapathy Vijay himself is Diwali! Starting today, fans will be celebrating him for a long, long time. So what is Mersal, directed by Atlee all about? Read on to find out…

What’s it about 
The film follows the story of Dr Maaran (Vijay), a renowned doctor who charges Rs 5 for even complicated surgeries. His intention is to make available facilities for those who can’t afford. This doctor also happens to be a magician who amazes people with his magic tricks. Interestingly, he ends up killing another renowned doctor and nabbing four people who were responsible for illegal medical practices. So who is exactly Dr Maaran? If he is saving people, why is murdering a specific few? The rest of the story if about solving this puzzling yet engrossing mystery.

What’s hot

If a film starring Thalapathy Vijay wasn’t enough, there comes along a class young director to make the experience even better. Atlee’s eye for the lesser-known yet relevant details comes across beautifully in this movie. His rich visual sense lends beauty to this massy-entertainer. Apart from enhancing the visual experience, he wants you to feel for the scene rather than just watch it unfold before you. The powerful kaleidoscope of images that Atlee creates,  holds your attention as much as Thalapathy does, if not more. Still can’t get over the scene before the song Aalapozhan Thamizhan. Also the one thereafter is a classic example of Atlee’s master direction. Apart from his nuanced craftsmanship, Atlee understands Vijay’s on screen persona. He knows when to throw spotlight on Thalapathy and when to shift attention to the story. Moving on from the direction to the production quality – the film is packaged beautifully and the end result is for us all to see! The Rs 130 crore budget is justified and rightly so. The story has its weak links and drags towards the second half, but for most part, has you hooked. Thalapathy Vijay’s epic entry, Vijay’s magic tricks, the fight sequences, his chemistry with the leading ladies, most importantly the twist at the end of the first half – are all amazing.  Through an engrossing tale, the film sheds light on a relevant theme. So it’s not just a no-brainer entertainer. Moving to Thalapathy Vijay, he is a firebrand on screen! One moment he is a humble, down-to-earth doctor, the next moment he is suave cheeky magician and the other moment, he is an innocent chieftan. As he flits from character to character, we are left with a sense of marvel. There are enough moments for Thalapathy fans to enjoy in Mersal – his massy entry and some of his fight sequences are not be missed. While the story is held together by a director and a superstar, the rest of the cast’s performance contributes to the story as well.SJ Suryah, as the lead antagonist, is a powerhouse of talent. After playing a psychotic villain in SPYder, he impresses us yet again in his role of a scheming, ruthless businessman. The three leading ladies have also put on a great show – Samantha’s comic timing, Nithya Mene’s feisty avatar and Kajal Aggarwal contribute justly to the story. Vadivelu as Vijay’s sidekick was another case of perfect casting. AR Rahman’s melodious yet upbeat music is another highlight. The Alapozhan Tamizhan song is going to stay with the audience long after the movie is over.

What’s not

What the film badly required was a sharp snip as the movie dragged on for nearly three hours. The overall experience was somewhat dampened because of poor editing. There’s a lot in the film that could have been snipped out to make it a crisp story. Also, certain scenes in the second half defied logic and seemed far-fetched. Mersal missed its chance of being a terrific story owing to poor editing.

What to do

When a Thalapathy Vijay-Atlee film comes along on a festive day, there’s no reason to miss it. And we haven’t found any to stop you either.

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