A fine performance, actually two by Vikram, fail to rescue Iru Mugan. The film, mounted as an action thriller, is time pass in its better moments but rather pedestrian otherwise.
In Iru Mugan, you feel for ‘Chiyaan’ Vikram. He rises well above the script in both his acts but the film, directed by Anand Shankar, lets him down. Still, between him and Nayanthara, they give the film its share of watchable moments. The film, however, flounders, particularly in the second half, as it enters corny and rather silly territory, coming well short of the high octane action charged film it set out to be. The script is weak with few convincing twists and turns and falls short of even basic logic in several places. What’s more, it is highly verbose as well for long stretches, using dialogues to over-explain the plot to us, the viewers. With badly placed songs that are none too well choreographed or picturized, and action scenes that are adequate rather than spectacular, the film moves on sluggishly making one feel its entire running length of 155 minutes.
The film looks at suspended RAW agent, Akilan (Vikram), who is coerced back into action after 4 years following an attack on the Indian Embassy in Malaysia. The attack seems to be the mastermind of his old transgender nemesis, Love (Vikram again), whom Akilan thought he had killed but who had his wife and fellow RAW agent, Meera (Nayanthara), shot and killed instead. Working with a young assistant, Ayushi (Nithya Menen), Akilan goes to Malaysia and comes face to face with Love. The latter has a sinister plan of supplying an adrenaline inducing drug, Speed, that gives one super-human powers for 5 minutes, to terrorist organizations. What’s more, over there Akilan sees that one of Love’s employees is Rosy, a spitting image of Meera…
Iru Mugan is unthinkable without Vikram. He is in top form as both, Akilan and Love. His looks and body language are well defined for both characters and as the effeminate Love, he plays to the gallery and looks like he’s clearly enjoying himself playing the baddie. Still, you miss Love’s background as to who (s)he is and why he does what he does. He’s conveniently there as a quirky villain(ess) and that’s about it. Delving into his past could have given the film an additional psychological layer it could well have done with besides making the cat and mouse game between him and an internally wounded Akilan that much more effective. Nayanthara looks gorgeous and convinces us that she can more than hold her own amongst the men. She also shares an easy and likable rapport with Chiyaan in this, their first film together. The rest of the cast, especially Nithya Menen and Nasser as the RAW chief, however, are totally wasted.
Technically, barring some typically ‘eye pleasing’ camerawork and reasonable mounting, the film is shoddy with the VFX work particularly tacky – be it making the eyes look dilated after one has had Speed or the climax wherein Love gets his comeuppance. Harris Jayaraj’s music is so-so as far as the songs are concerned, while his background score is a big no-no. In fact, if only the makers had taken some ‘Speed’ themselves, we might have had a more energetic and robustly paced action thriller to view. As it is, Vikram’s fine performances do add to his reputation as a great actor yet again but can do little to salvage the film, which is watchable enough in its best moments but not much else.
Tamil, Action, Thriller, Drama, Color