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Mugamoodi (The Mask)

Mysskin, as a promising director in Kollywood, has his own style of telling stories. This time over, he has tried a different trade by moving out of the sex rackets, the abduction gangs, street fighters and all his usual stuffs. Till date, Mysskin is considered to be as an art director by who the viewers will be happy and the producers will not be. All his movies are critically acclaimed but bombarded at box offices. Nandalala was the last one to flop, miserably. And Nandalala was the only movie which Mysskin gave some pre-release promos. All his effort for Nandalala was almost in vain as it was not appreciated neither critically nor commercially.

Usual comments (a.k.a complaints) people say about Mysskin’s movies are they are too realistic, they are violent, Does these things really happen in Chennai!!? etc… May be because of this over realism, he has moved to a bit of fantacy-super human-type oriented story this time!!

Image courtesy: IBN Live
Mugamoodi (meaning The Mask) is the latest flick from Mysskin in Spring 2012. The name says it all. It is a story of a good man who turns into a vigilante, hiding his identity behind a mask. Why and how he becomes a vigilante forms the circle of this movie. Initially Mysskin had planned for Surya, Vishal or Arya as the lead role, with the character’s name as “Suryaputhran”. Nothing materialized. Later Jiiva was roped in as Mugamoodi. He introduces a new female lead actress Pooja Hegde. The casting also include Narain (Mollywood), Nareyn (Tollywood), Girish Karnad, Nasser etc.

Mugamoodi essentially must not be seen with a prejudice or an expectation as it is a super human movie like Superman! The movie has its own flaws as well as strengths.

About the characters

There is a strong reason why a common man becomes a vigilante. With a heavy influence of Batman, Mugamoodi’s character is built without much flaws. I wouldn’t say it is half baked. But, could have been a bit more better. The main antagonist played by Narain, Anguchamy a.k.a Dragon is a clone of ‘The Joker’ but no way near the Joker’s charm of entertaining viewers. In my humble opinion, Joker is one of the class villain roles where you will think more of the villain than the hero. Hero cannot out perform the villain, it is Villain’s one moment’s fault which defeats him. Here, Dragon is shown with a weakness. That kills the character’s charm. Heroine is just an ornamental ‘item’ in this movie. She has nothing to do in this movie. His Kung-fu master Chandru has a strong character in this movie. Selvaa has done a good job with the Master character. All other characters come and go in regular intervals.

The real hero in this movie is not acting in this movie. None other than the legend, one and only Bruce Lee. He lives in the form of Kung fu, in this movie. He is given the due respect. May be the McDonald generation has only heard of Lee. After this movie, they will at least watch a couple of Lee movies.

Weighing machine

One of the Mysskin’s own signature is a short fat character who repeats his statements. Say, in the movie Anjathe, there was a short fat guy with only one hand, Kuruvi who repeats what ever he says. (remember Kirubaa kirubaa kirubaa…). In Mugamoodi also, there is a short fat guy who is a hunch back who repeats his dialogs. It became a cliché for Mysskin. One more Mysskin- Cliche is that when the heroine sees the hero for the second time, she runs back and forth to her scooty. That is a way too artificial and unrealistic. She attacks the hero and due to her beauty (bah!!) his hair sways in a breeze. How many more movies we have to tolerate the same shit!

In a whole, this movie was much predictable. The last time hero going to see the heroine, it is a usual way to start the troubles. From there, everything becomes a chain reaction kind of thing. Back to back, we can predict things before it is shown on the screen. A big flaw in the script is that the modus operandi of the evil group is not built up very strong. Naren though he did his job fairly well, there was a visible imitation of Joker when it comes to his feeling of invincibility. In a whole, the villain was portrayed too weak for the hero. And when the villain is shown weak, the purpose of a superhero is defeated. That is the biggest and defining flaw in the movie.

Krishna Kumar as a higher police official could have been dubbed rather than letting him talk Tamil in Malayalam. It was like a blunt hacksaw blade! Adding to that, along with the dialogs he was delivering tonnes of “Puchham” (contempt). A real mallu attitude! Nasser as a commissioner did his job neatly. For me, he was the only one who delivered 100% in the movie, after Jiiva.

Jiiva after doing all his comic, boy-next-door roles, has neatly come out of his shell and did a good job in this new role. It is definite that he has gone through a very tough phase of his trainings both in his physical appearance as well as his Kung-fu skills. I always appreciate Jiiva’s sense of choosing characters. In no movie, you can say that Jiiva shouldn’t have took this role. He is master of choosing his own roles. Jiiva is a big plus for this movie.

Pulling Bruce Lee in as a character in this movie is good. The McDonald generation today might have only heard about Lee. If they see a couple of Lee movies after this, the movie has served one of its purpose. The way the movie honors Bruce Lee is soothing. A true legend. Take a bow.

Art & Craft

Though the stills in the posters and all are looking good, the Mugamoodi attire was a bit half baked. When compared to the Batman’s look and feel, Mugamoodi becomes a decoy. The build up for turning Anand to Mugamoodi became just a mock up of Batman, Iron Man, Spiderman mixed together.

For any super human movie, three things become very crucial. The Action stunts, The Camera, The Background scores. Action was splendid. Tony Leung who is a master in Wing Chun school of Kung Fu directed all the action sequences in this movie. And he is the same Tony Leung who worked with the real Bruce Lee in the legendary movie “Enter the dragon”. Expect the class.

The Cinematography by Sathya is also good except towards the end. The duet, romance scenes copied by him to the film was a wonderful feast for eyes. But the end action sequences became very usual stuff with no new things to notice.

Music by K is gripping. Two songs in this movie are good. “Vayamoodi summa irudaa….” and the Bar song. One improvement is, Mysskin did not bring his Yellow Saree Legacy in this movie. K had an extra responsibility of supporting a weak script with his music. For most part of the movie, the music has catered needed support. But I believe there was a Mysskin interference in the music department. Towards the end, you can listen to the usual violin bit for the high speed frames. It slows down the build up created so far. A definite damage to the movie.

Climax

The movies ending needs special mention. It is good in two ways. The script leaves and open end so that anyone can create a Mugamoodi Part 2. Things can be improved. Instead of exposing the identity of Mugamoodi to the public, he continues as a vigilante. A good take. Second one is, the end card. It says:

As you think, so shall you become – Bruce Lee

I would give a 6/10 for this movie.

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