Mersal review: Stunning visuals, thought provoking subject

Thalapathy Vijay charms his way through the entire length of the cinema. A natural charmer, nothing about him is out of perfect, writes Deepa Antony.

Mersal, Thalapathy Vijay’s 61st release, is the story of Vetrimaran, Vetri and Maran, all played by Vijay himself. With adequate pomp and grandiose catering to Thalapathy fans, the movie has all the prerequisites of a mass entertainer. As the title suggests Mersal is stunning in its visual quality, entertaining in its narration and thought provoking in subject. However, the story is still the tried-and-tested old wine served in a new and colourful bottle.

It is a pleasure to watch how Vadivelu and Sathyaraj manifest their acting prowess on the screen shifting between some light comedy and their shades of grey. S. J. Surya enters the screen marking his territory as the bad guy with his over-the-top and dramatically evil mannerisms. From the moment, he appears on the screen there is no doubt as to how the cinema is to end. With little to no scope of acting, Kajal Aggarwal and Samantha Ruth Prabhu, two of the leading ladies, serve as customary good-looking props to the hero. Yet, Nithya Menon, the other leading lady, has a much meatier role. She plays Aishwarya Vetrimaran, who is an educated and opinionated better-half to Vetrimaran. She is bold, she speaks her mind and is encouraging of her husband in his endeavours. Thalapathy Vijay charms his way through the entire length of the cinema. A natural charmer, nothing about him is out of perfect. He fights, wrestles, and plays cricket in the hot sun and yet does not break a sweat- a phenomenon that can only be explained by some mysterious congenital condition the cinema fails to explain. At the end of every fight his ironed shirt is as clean and crisp as new and not a hair is out of place. At the end of every fight he never tires nor is ever short of breath.

However, trust director Atlee to invoke a host of emotions with his visual intricacies. He uses slow motion shots for effect and gravitas and adds colour and vibrancy to beautify his frames. Also, the co-writer of the story with K V Vijayendra Prasad, Atlee gets into fibre of the story he intended to narrate.

The maestro he is, A R Rahman hits gold with the songs, especially with Neethanae. The rest of the songs are just as captive, but the melody steals hearts. However, the background score is inconsistent and interferes with dialogues by being loud at times.

Though Mersal is a revenge story at the heart, it is no less a tale of social commitment. Along with a couple of digs at the recent demonetisation, GST and cashless economy initiatives the movie takes on heavily at the commercialisation of the healthcare industry. It delves at questioning medical negligence and failure of timely medical interventions. The story unsettlingly not only valorises revenge crime but also justifies it.

Often juxtaposed against MGR, Vijay’s mass entertainer does what it is best expected to do-entertain. But that is not all. Mersal also tries to make a bold political and social statement as it goes.

reviewed byDeepa Antony

20 Oct 2017 | 10:57 AM

  • directed by
  • Atlee
  • Starring
  • Vijay
  • Samantha