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Master Review

Review by IndiaGlitz [ Wednesday, January 13, 2021 • Tamil ]
Master Review
XB Film Creators
Vijay Sethupathi, Malavika Mohanan, Arjun Das, Andrea Jeremiah, Gouri G Kishan, Brigida, Shanthanu, Dheena, Lallu,
Lokesh Ganakaraj
Xavier Britto
Anirudh Ravichander

Master - Savior of theater business 

This Pongal's grand release 'Master' starring Thalapathy Vijay and Vijay Sethupathi and directed by Lokesh Kangaraj is a milestone film not only for the team but also for the theater business that is in the ICU due to the coronavirus pandemic.  Fans have shown tremendous love by lighting up the "House Full" board for almost a week in advance bookings.  Does the film itself live up to the high expectations it set remains to be seen.

'Master' is about an alcoholic professor JD played by Thalapathy Vijay who is appointed to an observation facility for juvenile criminals. There he locks horns with a dreaded gangster Bhavani (Vijay Sethupathi) who is using the youth for his nefarious activities.  The film is all about the confrontations between the two powerful characters and in reality the two powerhouse performers Vijay and Vijay Sethupathi as well.

The ageless Thalapathy Vijay has taken on the flawed character of an alcoholic and infuses heroism into it and its safe to say that his performance for every emotion in the film is a 'Master' piece.  He is full of energy when doing the stunts and the long drawn out opening fight on a bus and the metro train takes the cake. At the same time he also produces the smiles when he attempts to be stylish and fumbles and when he narrates different versions of his back story to various characters.  As a bonus there are two references to Thala Ajith and one to Suriya that elevate the theater moments. Overall the mass hero gives a variety fare to his fans with fewer whistle moments than his recent films.

 Vijay Sethupathi is the Makkal Selvan for a reason and with his towering evil act has touched yet another highpoint in his career. There is a scene when he stabs a henchman to death exhibiting a mix of emotions in his eyes that is riveting to say the least.  In the "Polakattum Para Para" song VJS is seen worshipping a statue of a deity with an unmistakable resemblance to the Nadigar Thilagam  - The most fitting symbolism in the film.

Malavika Mohanan's Charu is a forced character in the screenplay but she makes up for it by her pretty looks and emotes well wherever possible.  Andrea in an ill-defined role is wasted if that climax action moment is any solace to her and her fans.  Gayathri Kishan appears as a college leader and has done a neat job.  Arjun Das who terrified audiences as the ruthless villain in 'Kaithi' is a lot subdued here but does not get much scope to prove his mettle.  Shanthanu Bhagyaraj also has a blink and a miss role while the college student who helps Vijay and the juvenile criminal called Undiyal shine.

What works best in 'Master' is undoubtedly the screen presence, charisma and performances of the Thalapathy and the Makkal Selvan and the duo help cover up most of the flaws in the narration.  The first half sets up the characters of both the principal characters which is engaging along with the songs and a few fun moments.  The interval block featuring Vijay and VJS also packs a punch.

On the downside excepting for the alcoholism angle to the protagonist the character does not develop organically in the screenplay which is a big letdown.  .  His decision to take on the villain is not convincing enough and so is most of his tactics and strategies which are juvenile to say the least.  Most of the strong emotions that JD feels for the juveniles are not felt by the audiences which is another big minus. The writer-director has consciously avoided a backstory to the hero but it may have helped if there had been a strong one in place   In the first half though nothing much happens at least there is momentum which is lost in the second half.  For some reason the climax turns deliberately comical which dilutes the performances of the two stars as well.  

Music by Anirudh is one of the major highlights of 'Master' and the entire album already has become a chartbuster much before the film's release.  On screen the songs are cleverly incorporated with the flow of the screenplay which is another major plus.  As for the background score the youth icon keeps the tempo up and has thrown in special themes for both Vijay and VJS that have their fans screaming with delight.  Sathyan Sooryan's cinematography is topnotch capturing the clash of the titans to perfection while Philomin Raj has edited the three hour long film with a smooth flow the best he can do.  There are about half a dozen fights but sadly excepting for the opening one the others are repetitive and tiring to watch including the final confrontation.  XB Film Creators and Seven Screen Studios have mounted this star vehicle on a grand scale sparing no expenses to satisfy the director's creativity.

Lokesh Kanagaraj took on 'Master' with huge expectations riding on him which became even bigger with his casting coup.  While he has extracted good performances from his two stars and gets his signature kickass style across in the first half it all meanders to a tame finish which might not go down well with the general audiences.  

Verdict: Go for this one for the terrific performances from Vijay and Vijay Sethupathi and Anirudh's vibrant music.

Rating: 2.75 / 5.0

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