Star Cast: Chiyaan Vikram, Amy Jackson, Suresh Gopi, Upen Patel, Mohan Kapoor, Santhanam, Ramkumar Ganesan
What’s Good: Vikram’s stellar performance from being a brawny, smoking hot model to a creepy-looking hunchback. Shankar is known for his magnanimous films and this grandiose is clearly visible in ‘I’ too as lavish locations are completely mesmerising in the film. After Robot, Shankar once again shows his ability to make the visual effects department excel like never before in this film.
What’s Bad: A plot that is not strong enough to hook you for over three hours. It seems as though the editing was left just as loose as the budget of the film and so the film really drags both in first as well as second half leaving the audience not bored but already aware of what next is about to hit the screens.
Loo break: Another Song! (Might As Well Freshen Up)
Watch or Not?: This is certainly not Shankar’s best work. The film maker who is usually known for making films with messages and whose heroes are the society changers, this love story with a beauty and the beast twist is quite ordinary. It will be a disappointment for those who are fans of Shankar’s work but a thorough entertainer if you love Vikram. The actor is worth a watch for his brilliant performance. If you have three hours to kill, well you could try this!
Lingesan (Vikram) is a passionate body-builder who dreams only of two things, one of becoming the Mr. India and second the famed ad-diva Diya (Amy Jackson) who is in every possible commercial and on his wall too. He is so smitten by her that the otherwise focused Lingesan even leaves his lifelong dream to save Diya’s floating career when she requests him to take up a modeling assignment to get rid of her other co-model John (Upen Patel) who is the ‘I want some favour’ guy.
While Lingesan also known as Lee is already head-over-heels Diya, she too falls for the simple and lovable Lee. But amidst this blossoming love story are not one, two but four villains and that is where the twist is. Will Diya and Lee’s love survive the difficult test of time that entails after Lee’s transformation?
I Review: Script Analysis
I have to admit that I was quite excited to watch Shankar’s big-budget ‘I’ thanks to its interesting trailer. Unfortunately, the film does not live up to it at all. It seems to be Shankar’s habit now to make films on a larger scale and give them the gigantic look but unlike his other projects this one falls flat on the script as it is a predictable story that sadly is presented even worse as it is not gripping at all. A love story at its core, I is a beauty and the beast story that is driven by personal revenges. The focus being constantly on the importance of appearances, the script is weak and makes up with its visual effects and Vikram’s performance.
There are good quirky moments in the film as Santhanam steps in to play the hero’s sidekick. Certain scenes such as Vikram’s dance on Azeem-O -Shaan Shahenshah during his Mr. Tamil Nadu competition is hilarious. The lucidity with which Shankar has crafted Vikram’s character is excellent but unfortunately other characters do not enjoy the same. The lovesick version of Vikram is highly enjoyable and sprinkles the first half with some funny moments.
I Review: Star Performances
I is all about Vikram. The actor once again shows his caliber as an amazing actor and the ease with which he balances both the characters in the film is commendable. As Lingesan he is extremely lovable and it is hard not to fall for that simplistic, kind character. On the other hand when Vikram takes the hunchback form too, he is successful at making you choke at moments as you feel his plight.
Amy Jackson being the female lead does nothing extraordinary. Her acting is not worth a mention but well, the girl has certainly revealed a lot in the film and this sudden bold look of her is quite surprising.
Upen Patel seems completely unfit for his role. He does not match upto Vikram’s heroic character in anyway and just like Bollywood, it looks like he may not have much chances in Tamil and Telugu cinema too.
Other characters played by Suresh Gopi and Ojas M. Rajani too fail to pack a punch as villains.
I Review: Direction, Editing and Screenplay
The film is a typical Shankar direction and that becomes quite obvious when the story has scientific twists and songs which have robotic effects. Four years after Enthiraan, Shankar comes up with the romantic tale of I and sadly it does not live up to his mark.
The film is visually a treat with the cinematography of P. C. Sreeram completely mesmerising you. While lavish sets are Shankar’s favourite, this time he takes us to China and it has to be mentioned that the picturesque locations bloom on the screen with the dash of colours that the visual effects add. The film undoubtedly fine tunes its visual graphics and probably the finest among Tamil cinema but it is the screenplay which kills it.With a wafer-thin tale at hand, Shankar keeps the screenplay too loose and the action scenes too come as a dismay.
Anthony too fails at tighter editing which is a severe necessity for this film with songs that run quite long. A R Rahman’s music too does not turn out endearing and overall during the songs you find yourself looking here and there or reach out for your phone instead. The best thing about I is its make-up and cinematography both of which make this film a visual treat.
I Review: The Last Word
In spite of its exquisite presentation, I is nothing but an ordinary story that could have been presented in a much better manner had it kept its pace up. The film is completely driven by Vikram’s performance and it is worth your watch if you are fan of this character actor. If it would have been a little less than three hours, I would have found it much better so I am going with a 2.5 / 5 for this film.
I releases on 15th January, 2015.
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