Known for striking a balance between technical imagery and content with amazing regularity, Shankar disappoints this time by mounting an entertainer whose body and heart are not in sync. As a result it gets exhausted many times during its three-hour run.
It hurts for it stars Vikram, a rare actor who brings new dimensions to his craft even in mass entertainers. This time he has tortured his body, transforming from a gym toned beefcake to an emaciated hunchback to justify the multiple twists and turns in the script. He has dubbed his lines in Hindi and impresses with his street smart Mumbai dialect.
Unfortunately, writer Subha fails to match his conviction as the upheavals look staged despite P.C. Sreeram’s postcard-perfect images and A.R. Rahman’s romantic interludes. Telling a simplistic story in a non-linear fashion doesn’t make it complex. The villain is a model called John who flaunts a Salman Khan like bracelet. Is it just a coincidence or a comment? Both ways it doesn’t add any depth to the narrative.
Shankar’s grandiose designs don’t help either. A tale of selfless love and jealousy set in the business of beauty, I suffers, ironically, from the same issues it wants to highlight. His penchant for special effects and colour schemes daubs the emotion here. Be it endless ad films or references to Beauty and Beast or the use of torture as a tool to justify revenge, the indulgence becomes agonising.
The casting is baffling. A film set in the modelling industry doesn’t need to be populated by non-actors. Shankar has put lot of wood in his showcase by casting Amy opposite Vikram. She is a poor choice for a role where the hero’s revenge hinges on the covalence of the bond he shares with his love interest. In the past we have seen even ridiculous scripts working because of this indeterminate chemistry. Ghajini is an example. But here Amy disappoints and so does Upen Patel as the villain of the piece.