Star Cast: Vikram, Dhruv Vikram, Simran, Bobby Simha, Sananth.
Director: Karthik Subbaraj
What’s Good: Vikram exists in a film to give it its style and the mood it needs. The steering wheel is always in his hands and this time around his son Dhruv Vikram helps his father to bring the needed panache.
What’s Bad: The runtime that stretches for almost three hours is a bit too much. The film definitely deserved some stronger women.
Loo Break: Not when Vikram is walking or Dhruv is in his quirky self. Even when they are sitting, just pause and go.
Watch or Not?: Watch it I suggest. The movie is a father-son drama but this duo is violent. Also, they are a real-life duo too.
Language: Tamil (with subtitles).
Available On: Amazon Prime Video
Runtime: 162 Minutes.
Gandhi Mahaan (Vikram), a man named after the Father Of The Nation and directed to live a life by his teachings, is broke loose when he decides to take a different path. His family abandons him and he builds an empire over several dead bodies. One fine day his estranged son returns only with the objective to kill the people who brought his father to the bad business. Who will Gandhi choose? What will make him Mahaan?
Mahaan Movie Review: Script Analysis
Mahaan – meaning the Great, is a story about a man wanting to break the shackles of normalcy and have a life of adventure. He helps his friend win the game of cards but doesn’t touch them himself, he fights for his dog, but is also scared of his family. Once grown up, the burden is unbearable and the moment he breaks free, he does everything that is wrong like it has always been his normal.
The movie that drives a whole lot on Vikram’s irresistible charm and style, is written in a way that the conflict is more personal than public and his principles should look alien to the world. He is born on August 16, but his father gets August 15 registered, he names him Gandhi Mahaan and expects him to walk on Gandhiji’s path. And this goes on for 40 long years. So when he punches a man for the first time, or drinks beer, or plays his first cards, it calls for a celebration. Karthik Subbaraj invests a whole lot of time in setting up the universe his characters are about to breathe in.
Once out in the open, he compensates the depth induced so far with exaggeration of the surrounding. Because post he leaves the Gandhian way of living, there is no ideology in his existence, it is now just about survival and making a lot of money. Mahaan travels through decades not years, and it’s lead keeps aging, so does the surrounding. One clash that stays eminent is between the ideologies. The politics of the land. The need for liquor ban, and the politics behind it that crushes the ones following it blindly.
The screenplay has enough to keep you hooked. A story that is meaty, characters that have had a journey and that reflects on their faces, the style, the complete aura. But the runtime and the abrupt pace kills some vibe too. At one point the movie explores Vikram’s Mahaan’s God Complex, a character even compares him to Jesus. The camera places him in front of a crucifix more than once, but the writing never goes ahead than that in that department.
What also bothers is the lack of stronger women in this universe. I say stronger, because Gandhi’s wife is indeed strong, but disappears for a very long time only to return with no consequence. Rest other women are either crying or cooking. The screenplay is also predictable in parts. You will see.
Mahaan Movie Review: Star Performance
Vikram can just make montages of him walking and people will pay to watch it. The man has an unique style and attitude that is rare and charming. He can portray multiple emotions in the single scene. And do we even need to tell you his finesse at doing action scenes? Even at this age he pulls off the most complex gun moves and make them all look believable.
Entering the arena opposite the actor is his real life son Dhruv Vikram. You can easily see the genes working when Dhruv has to go all crazy only to prove the eccentricity he holds in his mind to kill the ones who doomed his family. He brings the much needed antagonist alive and the conflict is enhanced.
Bobby Simha, Sananth, Simran and all others get their parts right and create characters that are three dimensional to watch.
Mahaan Movie Review: Direction, Music
Karthik Subbaraj has a vibrant style of filmmaking. Even in the darkest of the set up he finds colours and shades. He captures his world in wide angles. Of course, it seems the camera must have zoomed enough at points, but he compensates for it with his scale. The over exaggerated surroundings and acting that isn’t subtle are his favourite aspects, that he uses to his profit. But just like his last few movies, he gets engrossed in his panache so much that he forgets where to stop.
DOP Shreyaas Krishnan finds the perfect story to have his camera do the trick. The fight sequences, conversation, he captures them in a way that half the drama is induced by the frame itself. Santosh Narayanan’s music is a winner here. It is quite unconventional for a story that begins in the 60s, but somehow isn’t a misfit. Watch Krishnan and Santosh working from behind in the scene where Vikram and Dhruv meet for the first time. What a scene!
Mahaan Movie Review: The Last Word
Mahaan is a movie that is entertaining for the ones who love action. Vikram and Dhruv Vikram are stunners in their game and you cannot miss them for sure.
Mahaan releases on 10th February, 2022.
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