Film name: MASTER
Director: Lokesh Kanagaraj
Producer: Xavier Britto
Screenplay: Lokesh Kanagaraj, Rathna Kumar, Pon Parthiban
Story: Lokesh Kanagaraj
Starting: Vijay, Vijay Sethupathi
Cast: Malavika Mohanan, Arjun Das, Andrea Jeremiah, Shanthanu Bhagyaraj
Music: Anirudh Ravichander
Cinematography: Sathyan Sooryan
Editor: Philomin Raj
Production company: XB Film Creators
Distributor: Seven Screen Studios
Release date: 13 January 2021
Running time: 179 minutes
Budget: ₹135 crores
Box office: ₹250 crores (estimated)
As the Government had permitted to restart the shooting of cinemas lately in June 2020, there was a dilemma regarding the opening of theaters. It was estimated that Ranveer Singh’s ’83 and Akshay Kumar’s Sooryavanshi will be the major big releases after the lockdown in cinema halls. However, it is seen that Thalapathy Vijay’s Master is the first big blockbuster in cinemas after the lockdown.
As many of the movies bypassed the theatres and were released on OTT platforms, the theatre owners were in doubt to what extent they could recover their loss. Many production houses stood with the theatres and didn’t release any movie under their banner. Nonetheless, some banners bypassed the theatres. Now, when the theatres are open, and people are going to them, following the covid protocol and safety measures, the cinema halls and the whole industry is seeing a new ray of hope through the release of the biggies like Thalapathy Vijay’s Master.
There was an anticipation that Master will release before the Hindi blockbuster, Sooryavanshi, and ’83, which came true. Akshay Kumar’s movie will step into the cinemas on 2nd April 2021, and ’83, a movie showcasing the 1983 Cricket World Cup that India had won and starring Ranveer Singh as Kapil Dev, will release on 4th June 2021. Master, the movie from South was planned to release on April 9, 2020, but got delayed as the lockdown was imposed across the country. However, the film industry of South is the first to start new releases after lockdown as well as start shooting much earlier than any other industry did.
Thalapathy Vijay’s Master to get a pan-India release:
Master is the first movie of Vijay which is getting a pan-India release. According to IMDB Trivia, this is Thalapathy Vijay’s first movie with the director Lokesh Kanagaraj and his team. It is Vijay’s buckling up with music director Anirudh after a break of about six years. Vijay plays the role of a professor in this movie. Since its release, the movie has been critically acclaimed and became the highest-grossing film of 2021. The movie has also reached first place at the global box office and in doing so, has set a record. Master is the third film to be directed by Lokesh Kanagaraj.
The story of Thalapathy Vijay’s Master
The story of Thalapathy Vijay’s Master that the director Lokesh Kanagaraj said in the movie was the need of the hour and the hero was relatively what the world needs. The movie is not at all similar to the cat and mouse chase, unlike the other entertained movies. It is a story where the hero fights the villain. Both the men in the story, two Vijay’s have the same kind of background where their lives were brutally marred. However, the difference is that one had let fate overpower him and he became a drunkard, the other man on the contrary found courage from the bad situation and turned into the dreaded Bhavani, who had an iron fist. The most remarkable feature of the movie is the director’s portrayal of the villain as a perfect man and the hero as a flawed man.
In Thalapathy Vijay’s Master, Thalapathy Vijay is the hero of the story with superhuman qualities. Though it was very hard to accept him as an alcoholic, as he is comfortable in shedding tears on screen and wakes up with his conscience, it matched him well. He was generally seen as a man who was always rough to the bad people, a fairytale hero. However, Master Vijay is seen as a man, a hero, in Thalapathy Vijay’s Master who is the need of the hour of the society and not the fancy hero of dreamland. Though he ends with beating baddies and lecturing what’s right, that too not without going through tough times. Only that man can tell of pain only when he has experienced it. Vijay’s JD is made to go through shock and pain so that he realizes the need and intensity of modification.
The nicest thing about Master is this, that it is not undermining the role of the villain. Rather it has been glorifying it and giving more power to it. JD aka Vijay has a tough villain Bhavani to stand against him. Even Bhavani is not that dreamland fancy villain who wears suits and gets his work done by hook or crook. The villain is an inexpensive guy. He is rather dingy like the people who are working for him. He wears a black lungi, an old shirt, and has marks of injury all over his face. His eyes are calm yet strange. The villain is a tough man played by Sethupathi and has evolved out of a tragic background. His first meeting with JD makes the audience wait for the day when there will be a big clash between them, like one that Ram and Ravana have. The clash seems to wait worthy and interesting for which it draws the audience to the hall and can overthrow Sooryavanshi or ’83.
The vivacity of Master is much lower if you compare it with the magnificence of Vijay’s other starring movies. However, there is nothing to complain about as Lokesh makes Vijay look susceptible than in any other movie of his. He is also more conscious and familiar with his drawbacks. He is also very good at portraying his weaker self. The camera does not follow a route map when in a scene JD falls apart and screams as he could have saved two lives of the innocent. The camera focuses and goes on zooming to show the heartache. The audience is made to see a Vijay who is not at all familiar to us. He is not only confused but also helpless.
Considering the incredibility of Master, there is an absence of a properly defined woman personality. The leading woman character Malavika Mohanan aka Charu doesn’t have that personality to dictate a scene or the movie. She seems like the driver who is pushing JD while he is at the Juvenile prison, but the movie does not do enough justice to her role. Even the romance that is generally expected out of the lady of the movie is also missing in Master. There is not a single scene that rationalizes the validity of Malavika. The scene where she is lifted by her hair when the goons are chasing her has a lot of camera work, but it doesn’t justify her entire presence in the movie. There is also not a scene that properly establishes the fact that Malavika aka Charu has an obsession with JD.
Master validates that the audience should miss the starring presence of Vijay while they leave the hall. The perfect type of entertainment is there at the correct time in the movie that provides you with proper comic relief. The villain had heroic qualities and that is a startling fact about the movie. Generally, it is seen in Bollywood movies that a person with such a background grows to be a hero, but here he grows to be a villain. You cannot fully hate Bhavani in the movie. Besides patting JD you also have to pat for Bhavani. The only lack of the movie is the role of a proper woman in the story. If it had one, then it would turn out to be the best movie to date. However, it can be said that the movie Master remains half-baked. The transformation that Lokesh Kanagaraj brought in Vijay was unbelievable, and if he does that in exploring the women in the movie, the film will be a perfect one then, in all aspects.
JD in this movie plays the role of a professor in a college in Chennai. He is that type of professor who has ready advice, ready hip flask in the pocket, and always ready to punch. It is obvious from the description that the students adore him, while the administration at college abhors him, and this is something seen in the movie. The situation becomes such that he has to join a teaching faculty which is run by Bhavani.
Unlike Petta, Master is a movie of the new age where the filmmaker tries to get a grip of the commercial cinema market with a made hero. It can be said that Master is more of a Vijay film than a Lokesh Kanagaraj film. However, Lokesh, the director manages to pass the test as he brought filmmaking flair into the movie. Even the cinematography is very unique and beautiful. The scenes where JD is in the forefront have cool blue tones, while the scenes with Bhavani in the forefront have fiery red hues. There are few overhead shots and one of the remarkable ones is the scene where JD stands in the sunlight area as the scene is divided into two zones: sunlight and darkness. From Vijay’s previous hits, the stardom has impacted Master also. Vijay has also performed some of his signature styles in Master.
However, considering everything the film seems to be not that punchy as it was expected. The events in the movie or the plot points are at times very familiar and seem predictable. A simple example can be the intermission scene where there is a punch scene. It is quite obvious that the interval will follow after it. The highlights of Lokesh’s previous films were the action sequences. However, here it over longs. The scene where JD and Vanathi, his classmate wields bow and arrow, do not evolve the thrill it was expected to.
The movie has delayed scenes in the college where JD has barely something emotional to say. However, a flashback of JD is not given, and it is a clever act as it would take much time and the running time of the movie would have increased much more. The reason why JD is a drunkard could have been established in a much better way. Instead, a lot of time has been spent in the movie where people go on dancing, singing, and drinking. There are many supporting characters in the movie who only have guest appearances and are barely crucial.
The acting of both Thalapathy Vijay and Vijay Sethupathi keeps the audience enthralled throughout the movie. Vijay keeps the audience engaged by dancing like dream. He acts too good in the college scenes also. As he gives advice he also makes those moments priceless. He did apt acting in those scenes, which would be spoiled if too many actors preached. Sethupathi on the other hand steals the shoe with his signature style of acting. His casual yet simple acting enthralls the audience. In the cruel scenes, he outs his best to act. Even the final scene where the characters confront once again is a climactic scene that houses much tension and helps the film end on a high tone.
After lockdown, indeed Master is a biggie movie to release and the industry of South is quite optimistic about its release. It seems that it will beat both ’83 and Sooryavanshi as these movies release.