Saturday, September 1, 2012

Mugamoodi(Mask) - Review

Never seeming to learn from our past experiences, myself and a few of my twitter buddies decided to go for the interestingly named Jiiva starrer - Mugamoodi (Mask).
Spoiler Alert: If you are planning to watch the movie, stop reading... or don't... the movie is predictable anyway.

After his previous outing - Yudham sei which was, I must admit, a formidable thriller, Mysskin tries out his hand at another genre - Superheroes. He must be given due credit to bring such a genre to Indian or rather Tamil Cinema (I don't consider mythology based movies in this genre). This is true new fiction. Having said that, the movie falls flat when it comes to screenplay.

The movie seems to be heavily influenced by Christopher Nolan's Batman series. This can be seen straight away from the posters to the trailer. Damn! Even the background score seems to be heavily influenced by the Dark Knight series' Hans Zimmer composition. Even the characterization seems to have been heavily influenced by Batman movies. Commissioner Gordon - Assistant Commissioner Gaurav, NYPD - TNPD, Batman - Mugamoodi, Lucius Fox - Girish Karnad, Alfred - the other "Thatha".

Portraying the jobless, aimless, angry young man (especially at his always-scolding-father) seems to be some kind of an allergy that Tamil cinema, in the recent days, has caught. Bruce Lee (Jiiva) wanting to be like the original Bruce Lee trains with a fairly less known Kung-Fu master in the suburbs of Chennai. The movie moves slowly where the director tries to set the stage for the story later. The first half is a la Billa 2 to Billa 1. Jiiva tries to bring in some students who can pay the fee to learn Kung-fu from his master, so that he can pay up the rent to his master's landlord, and prevent him from becoming homeless. He does this by intimidating a few so-called low class uneducated fish market vendors at the market. Here's where the heorin is introduced, the face of whom is not shown until the end of the next scene.

The story moves on...Jiiva trying to impress his new found love - Shakthi (Pooja Hegde) by lying that he's working at some company in a good post and gets his nose cut when his father yells at him revealing his true status right in front of the heroine. The build-up given to the heroine's intro is unwarranted considering that we have seen prettier ones.

Are you bored already? Yes, we were too! Looking at the watch, it was almost an hour and half and nothing yet. Then, in order to propose, Jiiva finally tries to reveal who Mugamoodi is to Pooja Hegde. That's when the story tries to become more interesting but in vain. The villain's men try to kill the Assistant commissioner (who's also Pooja's father) - played by Nazar - unimaginatively  or unnaturally named Gaurav. Jiiva being on the spot is handed the gun by the miscreant who escapes and Jiiva is framed. Nazar manages to recover from his Gunshot wound in the hospital during which the villain tries to kill him. The police officer who was Nazar's assistant is caught red handed while trying to kill a conscious Nazar who acts to be sleeping.

The worst portrayal of a villain is done by Narain, again unimaginatively named Angusamy, who, later is revealed to be the a fellow-inmate of Jiiva's Kung-fu master 22 years ago, yet looks much younger than the Kung-fu master. Most of his scenes he tries to mock his opponent, be it his fellow inmate or Jiiva. His movements, perhaps made to resemble some niche Kung-fu move, unintentionally becomes quite GAYish. Especially the way he repeats all the Superhero names - "Batman, Spiderman, Superman" is extremely annoying. The Villain is more comical than intimidating. There's a touch of Joker being tried out here but fails terribly.

I won't go into any more details, you ask is there more? Yes... sadly. This is a looong movie. I'll just get to the gist. The villain continues his childhood traits of being a thief and learns Kung-fu from his foster father who was a Kung-Fu master himself. He kills his foster father when he finds out that he was the one to inform the police about his thievery. Grows up to start a Kung-fu school with his partners in crime and continues stealing jewelry from houses and killing every single soul who comes in their way. Mugamoodi unintentionally comes in their way during one of their heists. The next thing you know, he's framed for shooting the ACP. After a lot of running around and kidnapping and hostage and ransom calls, the story lands at the Ennur port for the climax... which was again, very predictable. The hero's hands are tied up, the villain tries to kill him, after some confusing scene sans logic, it ends with the villain giving up holding on to his trademark hammer (a la "Yaavarum Nalam"?) and falling into the sea and hitting his head on to a metal jutting out from one of the cranes (perhaps to justify that he actually dies from the fall), after losing to Jiiva in his fight where Mugamoodi uses the last technique that his master had taught him but the villain not knowing it.

Are you a bit ticked off? Yes, that's what the movie does. Songs are forgettable. Music Director named "K", has done some interesting background score, as said earlier, heavily inspired by the Dark Knight series. The Title credits does a Marvel comics/DC comics style animation that we have so loved in the recent superhero movies, which is nice.

Overall - Very mediocre.

This character, however, has tremendous potential to be greatly developed. Perhaps someone could get some great writers and come up with a more captivating story and make a sequel. We could then, forget this annoying intro and move on, creating a home-bred superhero who could be out friendly neighbourhood superhero!

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