‘I’ – An Honest Opinion from Kids Next Door.

I

Blogger’s Note: This is a collaboration post with guest blogger Mukilan. Its two takes, by two people, on the same movie, I.

‘Everybody’s a critic these days’ is a phrase people use only too often and in my opinion, that’s not a bad thing! When everyone learns to critique, it only helps raise the general standard. But unfortunately too many of us are way too critical for our own good, especially when it comes to movies.

When you see a movie from the combo that gave us ‘Anniyan’, it’s only natural that we expect something along the same lines. I get it, pun intended, but I don’t think that ‘I’ is in anyway, a disappointment.

Granted, it’s not something that I’d expect out of a Shankar flick, but I think ‘I’ is a movie that doesn’t take you for a fool, which can’t be said for most commercial flicks these days.
So, there’s no usual ‘righteousness prevails’ formula, but you don’t find it hard to sit through the movie at all, and I for one enjoyed it.

‘I’ isn’t the part of the revolution that’s happening in tamil cinema, in the conventional way. If ‘Soothu Kavvum’ and ‘Moodar Koodam’ are great films for their treatment of the story and screenplay,’I’ is great because of it’s visual grandeur if nothing else. It’s your escape from mundane reality. You get to live in a world of sheer magnificence for the 180-odd minutes.

While Shankar has moved away from his usual products, Vikram sticks to his guns. There’s not a single other artist I’d want to see in that role, simply because of the fact that with Vikram, you don’t see an actor, but only the character itself. And Vikram steals the show without so much as losing a breath. Amy gives us a few inspired performances though she falls a few yards short on most. But there is simply no arguing the fact that she fits the role perfectly. She looks stunning on screen and will leave you wanting more.

Rahman is amazing and there’s no arguing that point. The mozart of Madras has put up beautiful tunes and the bgm carries the entire film effortlessly. For once, the songs of a Shankar film are seamlessly integrated into the story, thanks in no small part, to Madhan Karky’s mesmerising lyrics and Antony’s perfect editing. He moves away from the usual fast cuts we’re used to seeing from him and gives us his best work yet. P.C.Sreeram takes us back to the good old days with sheer brilliance behind the lens.

Except for the lack of an engaging story, ‘I’ is a perfect commercial package that will leave most of us wanting more of it. The locations are out of the world and every song, be it the visuals or the music, strikes a chord with your heart. It’s the cheat day to a gym diet of boring, serious flicks. An Epic cheat day, if you will.

Bottomline, ‘I’ is an indulgence. It’s so Magnificent and Opulent, it should probably be considered a sin.

-Mukilan, the guy next door.

Let me be honest. I went to watch I, out of peer pressure.

It’s literally everywhere! Everybody is talking about it and it’s all that we heard about for the last few weeks.

I is a big banner. And when I say big, I mean Super-Mega-Ultra-Monumental times big! And with big banners come big expectations.

It’s Vikram at his best. His presence can be felt from beyond the screen. The entire movie thrives on his performance quotient and is beautifully backed up by P.C Sreeram’s alluring cinematography. He’s flawless. As the massive yet naive hearted body builder, he makes you beam at his innocence. As the stylish and sensational Super model, he makes your heart skip a beat. Mine literally jumped out of my chest and I had to pick it up casually as I walked out of the theater. No kidding. (He’s 48 for crying out loud! Even older than my mother!)  As the fragile hunchback, he redefines revenge, and is awe inspiring.

Can we talk about another behind-the-camera hero who takes away almost half of the credits for the luxurious elegance of I?

A.R.Rahman!!

Need I say more? Actually, I could say more. But the word limit isn’t enough! A.R.R has done such an amazing job that we need to pour a couple of more Oscars into his collection. The BG music is transcendental, out of this world and divine. Here again, PC Sreeram breathes life into the Mozart of Madras’s music with his breathtaking visuals.

In the humblest and nicest way possible, can we get to the cons now?

Screenplay. A little, umm no….way too predictive. This is where I start to think that big banners tend to be big disappointment these days, especially when it comes to how non compelling the narration is. Remember the incredible story Soodhu Kavvum was? It was a small banner, but it had a powerful message and a strong script and at the same time, it didn’t get all preachy and gave you the required dose of entertainment as well.

Maybe that’s what I was cut out to be like. It’s entirely driven by star power and has receded on the script.

People might claim that’s not really a bad thing, because I has a high entertainment quotient. And a very high one at that. I could’ve  easily agreed, had it been from someone else other than director Shankar. Right from Gentleman or Jeans to Enthiran, you recognize this man as a master script writer, and then he ends up giving you ‘I’, a movie that surpasses excellence in all domains, except the screenplay. Yeah, talk about irony.

And Amy Jackson. Dear, dear Amy Jackson. Where do I even begin with this darling? For she is a contradiction. She looks enchantingly pretty and fits naturally into the role of a super model. Her glamour quotient though, could be an issue, if you are watching the movie with your conservative South Indian family or your little cousins. I should know, because I  watched it with both :/ Yeah. Thanks for your sympathy. But she’s not a complete let down. Although she is uninspirational at times, she proves her mettle, a few scenes before the climax. So this British Barbie has the potential to make it as a commercial actor, and makes ‘I’ much more picturesque to watch.

Finally, I can sum it up like this. There’s two ways to watching this movie.

You can either sit down, munch away the popcorn, enjoy the splendid visuals, tap your feet to Rahman’s glorious beats and applaud at Vikram’s amazing performance. It’s a great way to spend the holidays with your friends (please not that I say friends), it’s funny, romantic, action packed and at times deeply moving. Yes, I is a complete package that way.

The second way however, is to sit down, fuming at how the screenplay was plain and predictable, shift uncomfortably at Santhanam’s crude jokes, and take out your mobile and deliberately pretend to text some one, as Amy Jackson appears in certain scenes or scorn at how much you guessed at who the fourth villain just a few minutes after his first appearance. This way, ‘I’ becomes a huge disappointment for the critical movie watcher with uncompromising standards as a consumer.  (Yup, That would be me. :p )

So, you either end up feeling flabbergasted  or let-down. Sometimes, even both.

What you feel about ‘I’ tells a lot about you, than the movie itself.

–Bala, the girl next door.

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