Cast: Vikram, Nayantara, Nithya Menen.
Director: Anand Shankar.
'Iru Mugan' tells the story of a drug lord who once was thought dead, but yet has now returned to torment his enemies. An ambiguous person (transgender? Gay? Both?) named ‘Love’ (Vikram) used to run the chemical drug trade in Kashmir. Of course, given the nature of the industry, enemies are plenty and Love seemingly falls victim to RAW agent Akhilan (Vikram again) with the help of his love, Meera (Nayanthara.) The price Akhilan pays is his wife Meera, who died in the fight that had ensued. Or so it seemed.
Four years later when the Indian embassy at Malaysia is attacked to demonstrate the power of a drug and terrorist groups across the world are ready to grab it for a mammoth price, it is revealed that the mad scientist Love is still alive. Now, Akhilan who was on suspension is recruited to put an end to Love’s mafia.
Directed by Anand Shankar, the movie follows a very familiar pattern for films in this particular genre: fast and predictable action sequences, high tempo backgrounds, and a transformative tool that enables to hero to turn into a superhero of sorts.
This tool is a drug named ‘speed,’ which after consumption gives the hero (for that matter to whoever who inhales) the superpower for about 5 minutes. The film falls into the trap of using this tool way too often to propel the narrative, while at the same time not providing much downside to such substance abuse. Such levels of convenience and ease hugely downgrade the believability of the movie.
Stylistically, Iru Mugan is very slick and without much over-the-top intros. This works very well in contrast to the fast & furious drug-infused action sequences. In addition, Nayanthara as the tech-savvy woman who doubles up as a RAW agent is very enlivening on screen. But hardly, she has any scope to perform although there’s a twist to her character.
And of course, Vikram in his double role excels and carries the film on his shoulders. Nithya Menen as an assistant to Akhilan in his endeavor sleepwalks her role. Ritvika is typecast and passable. Nasser has a miniscule role. National award winner Thambi Ramaiah who appears as a Malaysian cop and portrayed as a ‘sirippu police’ only helps to reduce the seriousness of the narrative.
Harris Jayaraj’s music gives a déjà vu feel and background score is just about adequate. RD Rajashekar’s camerawork is refreshing and brilliant. Stunt choreographers Anbarivu and Ravi Verma should be lauded for their taut action compositions. But after a point it gets repetitive. Too much of violence gives a morbid feeling.
Although formulaic in nature, Iru Mugan is a straightforward drug-infused thriller that is high on tempo and very unrelenting....