After 300 days of no theatre cinema “MASTER” was a perfect rain-in-the-desert. We deserved something like MASTER. It was so refreshing and satisfying to be seated in front of the silver screen and witnessing these moving images after a long time of dryness and definitely this “Lokesh Kanagaraj” movie serves up everything we expect after a long gap.
MASTER, as the director says in all of his interviews, is a 50% Lokesh Padam & 50% Vijay Padam. With an Actor like Vijay who has this gargantuan stardom it is hard to find a balance like Lokesh claims. And the “KAITHI” director gracefully succeeds. As a result we get to witness an unusual character portrayal of Vijay , a character so flawed that when we see Vijay in these characterizations it feels so refreshing. It was “THUPPAKI” & before that it was “BADHRI” that gave me this aforementioned feeling. The kind of portrayal of this protagonist with a star like Vijay, it does not feel forceful or pretentious at all and it pays off well in the middle of the story when the protagonist transforms in the middle.
John Durairaj aka JD ,a drunkard, a person who is rarely sober, is a professor who is adored by the students. He is sent to an observation home for Juvenile delinquents. During the course of time JD comes to know about the existence of the notorious, menacing gangster who has a fist of iron Bhavani, played by Vijay Sethupathi, who uses these kids for his dirty businesses.
Movie opens with Vijay Sethupathi’s character as a terrified boy begs for his life and slowly transforms into a terrifying personality. Sethu swiftly makes this character his own. In fact Sethu has more memorable moments in this film, which is so unusual in a Vijay movie. But in the mid-way the writing of the character gets so one-dimensional that only the charm & quirkiness of Sethu manages to lift it up.
All other characters served the story well but were so flat and not memorable except Poovaiyar (the kid in the observation home).
Lokesh being a Kamal Hassan fan is a known fact. KAITHI was influenced by VIRUMANDI likewise he drew inspiration for MASTER from Kamal’s NAMMAVAR. Lokesh loves trivias and MASTER has lots of it. Like NAMMAVAR there is a scene where Vijay brings all his college students to renovate a juvenile home. Lokesh adapts the whole concept of Kamal’s NAMMAVAR climax monologue and gives it to Vijay and like always he effectively renders it. Lokesh even went further and made the Protagonist’s past so vague that he finished the flashback in two dialogs and brought direct reference to Kamal’s Professor character in NAMMAVAR.
The way scenes are designed are so interesting. The scene where VIjay & Sethu meets accidentally for the first time is one of my favorite scenes in the movie. Screenplay could have been much better in the second half. The Movie falls from a high point and struggles to crawl up which makes it draggy.
Sathyan Sooryan ISC sets the mood of the movie with all this brownish and grey color palettes which is also a new thing for VIjay movie.
For me an action scene should have clarity, fluidity, subjectivity. Stunt Silva ticks all these columns in MASTER . Stunt Silva’s design for an action scene is so elegant and powerful that MASTER is his best till date.
Anirudh holds the movie whenever there is a fall. Refreshing tracks but the placements of some songs felt off.
Overall “LOKESH’s MASTER” is a Class + Mass movie which serves up well for Vijay fans and normal audience. But still Lokesh could have spend more time on the writing part.