Review: Mersal is Thalapathi Vijay on fire!

The story is straightforward, and with numerous reviews available, there’s no need to delve deeper here. It follows the typical pattern of a ‘revenge action with a mass hero’, reminiscent of MGR days—a tribute to MGR movies. While the basic plot aligns with other ‘S.S. Rajamouli’ films, the absence of K. V. Vijayendra Prasad is notable, with one scene directly lifted from ‘Vikramarkudu’.

Mersal proves to be an effective revenge-action drama, prioritizing action, comedy, and songs over National Awards, intricate plot twists, or coherence. Atlee, known for mass flicks, draws inspiration from various other films, incorporating elements from S. Shankar and AR Murugadoss movies. For instance, the initial incidents may remind you of Ramana, while the subsequent scene echoes ‘Sivaji’. Interestingly, if you’ve watched Christopher Nolan’s The Prestige, certain shots will feel familiar, with a ‘double role’ act reminiscent of the same. Mersal, in essence, offers a pleasing blend of action, comedy, and the charismatic presence of Vijay, delivering another crowd-pleaser from Atlee.

Atlee and Vijay

Nevertheless, the scenes highlighting Vijay’s mass appeal leave a lasting impression, particularly the emotional moments like the ‘auto driver portion’ and Nithya Menen’s flashback scenes, despite their occasional melodrama. The combination scenes between Hareesh Peradi and Vijay in the first half stand out as one of Mersal’s highlights.

Vijay shines in his Thalapathi avatar, looking remarkably good in the ‘vetti’ and ‘sattai’ during serious scenes. Atlee deserves commendation for daringly addressing critical issues such as Hospitals, Medicines, and Doctors, exposing malpractices and greed in the medical sector. This aspect alone earns a positive rating in my review.

Vijay’s brilliance is evident as he flawlessly executes various characters with distinct mannerisms, showcasing some of his best work. His exceptional action sequences and the captivating portrayal of different characters make Mersal a Thalapathi Vijay show all the way. His intro and walk in the theatre as ‘Thalapathi’ are simply awesome. This is the Vijay audiences have been longing to see, a departure from his roles in Puli or Jilla. Unfortunately, apart from Nithya Menen, other artists fail to leave a significant impact, though S.J. Surya’s performance is notable.

AR Rahman

AR Rahman’s mind-blowing soundtrack, especially the mixing, adds a treat to the theatre experience, providing energetic and vibrant songs accompanied by amazing background music that immerses the audience.

However, Mersal’s significant weakness lies in its cinematography and length. Despite being a big-budget film, it suffers from TV commercial-like camera movements and lighting, criminally spoiling AR Rahman’s songs with inappropriate visuals. The cinematography is a major letdown, and unnecessary characters, including Kajal Aggarwal, Sathyaraj, Samantha, Vadivelu, and Kovai Sarala, contribute to the film’s drawbacks.

Nevertheless, the high-energy performance by Vijay compensates for these flaws. Despite the predictability of his character winning every fight, Vijay keeps the audience engaged, making the movie watchable and special. The film’s positives, including a dozen electrifying scenes for the fans, outweigh the negatives, making Mersal one of Vijay’s most exciting movies.

3.5 Rating

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About the Author

PS Arjun
Cinephile. Learning the art of filmmaking. Writer. Filmmaker.

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