#Irumugan – Review :
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Cast: #Vikram (Dual roles), #Nayantara, #NithyaMenen, Nasser, Karunakaran.
Music: #HarrisJayaraj.
Direction: Anand Shankar.

TAGLINE: A Letdown “Speed” Test.

Coming from the maker of the slick action thriller “Arima Nambi”, “Irumugan” had a lot riding on it, and the expectations were high, especially after the trailer revealed the second surprise avatar of Chiyaan. Has the ever – Hardworking Vikram’s efforts paid off this time with a commercial victory?

Plot and Performances :
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Ex-RAW Agent Akilan(Vikram) is brought back to take control of the Indian embassy attack case that involves a mysterious man, Love(Vikram again) , who was responsible for the death of Akilan’s wife, Meera(Nayantara). Assisted by Ayushi (Nithya) Akilan heads to Malaysia where he encounters some shocks, some surprises, and “Speed” – a drug developed by Love, with which he aims to control the world. Whether Akilan survived Love and his “Speed”, and who wins the cat and mouse chase that ensues between them is what Irumugan is all about.

When it comes to transformation for multiple roles/Dual roles – be it the changeover in physique, voice or body language, Kamal Haasan has set a benchmark in Indian Cinema. Closely following him in excellently portraying multiple roles with perfect variations is Chiyaan Vikram, and this time around, he has tried a double act, for the very first time in his career (Though he has sported multiple looks and characters in movies like Anniyan, I). While Akilan is a cakewalk for the actor, as he has to just look mean and tough, Love is a revelation. As Love,Vikram’s body language, modulation, the witty tone, and his cool villainy are sure to keep the audience hooked to him, despite having yet another Vikram, the actual protagonist confronting him. Nayantara looks glamorous and stylish as Meera, and she looks every inch a chic Agent(Though Anand could have made her agent act impressive with a daredevil stunt sequence!) , with her perfect styling and makeup. Nithya Menen’s role is more of an extended cameo, as her role doesn’t offer enough scope for her to prove her potential, besides completely lacking the emotional connect with the audience. While Arima Nambi had some small yet interesting supporting performers like M.S.Bhaskar,who stole the show with his powerful 15 minutes cop act, Irumugan is a complete Vikram show as the rest of the cast is totally overshadowed by his love act. Despite travelling throughout the movie, Thambi Ramaiah’s role neither evokes genuine laughs, nor does it bring out the actor in him, and Karunakaran is miscast in a minuscule role sans humor. Veteran Nasser and the talented Rythvika are cast in insignificant roles with very less screen space.

Music and Technical Departments :
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Harris Jayaraj’s pulsating BGM complements the tempo of the movie well, while the same cannot be said of his songs. “Halena” stands out as a visual treat thanks to Nayantara scorching the screen with her sizzling presence, while the rest of the songs are passable with a sense of deja vu(as is the case with most albums of Harris). R.D.Rajasekar’s cinematography captures Malaysia in all its glory, besides beautifully presenting the breathtaking stunt sequences and chases well choreographed by Anbariv. Bhuvan Srinivasan’s editing could have been taut, as Irumugan certainly demands some trimming.

Direction :
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Anand Shankar, who impressed one and all with his impressive debut Arima Nambi, is this time supported by a huge star cast, headed by the versatile Vikram. While Arima Nambi had the protagonist playing, making clever usage of technology to take on the powerful villain, it’s science here, and a reverse case of The brainy Antagonist playing against the brawny hero. And this is exactly where Anand has decided to totally let go of logic, making “Speed” look like a wonder formula with which Love could rule the world, just on the lines of Dong Lee’s Nokku Varmam(7am arivu) with which he could control anyone. The first half moves on predictable lines, in a leisurely pace, and the stunning interval block sustains the interest and ups the expectations. However, the second half rather than presenting interesting twists, depicts Love completely utilizing Speed, to involve in illogical, over the top sequences and it’s just Vikram’s antics as Love that could keep you engaged in the tedious screenplay.Anand could have definitely trimmed the movie, as the drags are quite constant without much of interesting proceedings, and the unwarranted “Kannai Vittu” number could have been done away with. The technically brilliant, visually rich Irumugan’s weakness is that it completely tries to ride on the charisma of the dedicated Vikram’s Act As Love and the screen presence of the pretty Nayantara, without much focus on establishing their characters and their back stories with more finesse, that could have definitely had an impact on the audience.

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Irumugan has it all – Style, Script, Stars,but missed out on one ‘S’ that it needed most and one ‘S’ that forms the crux of the movie ironically: “SPEED”. All said, Irumugan is an interesting plot on paper, letdown by execution. Irumugan might definitely rake in the moolah, and eventually end up a hit at the Box office, thanks to the humongous hype and the Stunner Vikram, but considering the fact that it’s a commercial entertainer, Vikram’s wait for that elusive biggie that could take him to his undisputed glory days of Dhill, Dhool, Saamy,still continues.

If a movie’s two faces are the performances and a solid screenplay, the first face of this Irumugan is fairly good, while the second is disfigured, badly.Worth a watch,with extreme patience.

VERDICT: Versatile Vikram partially saves this full on style, low on “speed” action thriller.

5.5/10