Ajith is back just the way his fans love him! After his masterpiece “Billa”, he dons the role of an international bigwig again. Only this one is benign, legitimate and conforms to the ethics of business with amazing devotion. With Saran as the helmsman, you definitely expect blistering fireworks on screen! The film lives up to its hype but not completely!

The plot

All ‘don' films have almost similar plots woven with betrayal, and subsequent vengeance. Needless to say, “Asal” too has the same elements at its core.

Jeevanandham (Ajith) is an international arms dealer, based in Paris, who sells arms only to governments. When a shady organisation, selling arms to terrorists, wants to use his organisation to push their weapons and drugs, he flatly refuses, with advice from his son Shiva (Ajith again).

Shiva is Jeevanandham's illegitimate son, and much to the irritation of Sam (Sampath Raj), and Vicky (Rajiv Krishna), Jeeva's legal heirs, Jeeva favours Shiva more than these two. Sam and Vicky want to deal in drugs and they hatch a plot along with Uncle Kali (Pradeep Rawat) to eliminate Shetty (Keli Dorji) who is the original contact of the shady organisation in Mumbai.

Soon, Jeeva dies and Vicky is kidnapped by Shetty (Kelly Dorji), who is the original contact of the shady organisation in Mumbai, tortured.

Shiva sets out for Mumbai to save his brother through his contact Mirasi (Prabhu Ganesan) and succeeds in his endeavour. But the brothers double cross him. Shiva's vengeance forms the rest of the plot.

The good

Kudos to Saran for his near-perfect casting! Ajith gets into the skin of an arms dealer with consummate ease. Sameera Reddy as Sara, the cultural attaché at the Indian embassy, is an excellent choice, and Bhavana easily slips into the character of Sulabha, a local, innocent Indian girl.

The icing on the cake is Don Samsa (Yuhi Sethu). The writers have taken great care that the comedy is only situational and it does not hamper the progress of the screenplay at any stage. Yuhi Sethu's wit is bound to have you in splits!

Ajith has very little dialogue in the movie, and he proves that “actions speak more than words”! He enters the screen with a lot of energy and you immediately expect him to deliver one or two punch lines. But thankfully Saran has stayed away from the run-of-the-mill pattern.

Ajith's calm, composed yet powerful portrayal underlines the fact that the actor in him has definitely matured! The stunts are no doubt amazing and stylish. The particular sequence of gun assembling and reassembling is brilliant and has you at the edge of your seat. It is cute to see the exchanges about Shiva between Sara and Sulabha.

The bad

You actually begin to think that Saran has struck the perfect balance between maintaining Ajith's image and logic during the first half. But sadly, in the second half, he gives in to Ajith's image.

Many dialogues have ‘Thala' forced in. This may be an aural treat to an Ajith fan, but nonetheless it irks you after a point. Shiva's level of interaction with Sulabha is almost nil yet you end up baffled as to why at the end he unites with her and not with Sara! And Sara having been with Shiva through thick and thin, sacrifices her love happily!

Also Rajiv Krishna goes overboard with emotions and is loud and irritating in certain scenes. It's definitely not music director Bharathwaj at his best! The number ‘Hey Dushyantha' reminds you of Pritam's ‘Yeh Ishq' in “Jab we Met”!

Bottomline: Throw these negatives out of your mind! It's a hardcore ‘Thala' film after all! It's definitely a good popcorn entertainer and provides fodder for your money if you don't mind these minor inconsistencies!

S. ARJUN PRASANNA, Prince Shri Venkateshwara Padmavathy Engineering College, Ponmar

Keywords: AjithBillacinemaTamil cinema

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