Cinematography & Make-Up
Screenplay and Direction
Technical Aspects and Music
Vikram’s dumb-founding, career-best performance!
Summary : I is an expertly directed, dazzlingly shot and technically staggering tale spearheaded by Vikram’s career-best performance. I will be remembered as a film where Vikram proved his mettle as a stupefying method actor on par with Kamal Haasan in Indian cinema.
Cast: Vikram, Amy Jackson, Upen Patel, Suresh Gopi, Santhanam, Ramkumar & others
Cinematographer: PC Sreeram
Music: AR Rahman
PRO: Nikkil Murugan
Written by: Shankar & Subha
Produced by: Aascar Films Ravichandran
Release Date: 14-01-2015
Run Time: 03:09:00
After the Himalayan wait for more than two years, Shankar’s I has stormed into massive number of screens worldwide. Has the film lived up to its gargantuan expectations? Has Shankar managed to keep his reputation intact and recreate his magic at the box-office? Has Vikram’s unshrinking hard work been paid off? Let’s find out in our I Movie Review.
I is an expertly directed, dazzlingly shot and technically staggering tale spearheaded by Vikram’s superlative performance. I will be remembered as a film where Vikram proved his mettle as a stupefying method actor on par with Kamal Haasan in Indian cinema. The film also richly rewards the time and effort invested by him and will undoubtedly be the much-needed defibrillator Vikram needed to bolster his stumbling big screen career.
Story-wise, I is very unlike any Shankar film, save alone his voluptuous making. For a change, Shankar doesn’t mete out any social message as such here, a path he has traversed a gazillion times in his near-spotless filmography. Instead, he has taken a gut-wrenching love story and spiced it with immaculate film-making, ever-restless shooting style and a state-of-the-art execution. Thankfully, the film doesn’t buckle under the weight of its jumbo expectations of audiences. I is probably the only Shankar film in the last decade without an overflowing cast. But then, never underestimate the entertainment value of a Shankar film. Santhanam teams up with Power Star Srinivasan in the first half to bring the roof down occasionally with his trademark epigrams. In fact, you will certainly have an uproarious time during the last few minutes before and after the third act thanks to Santhanam’s one-man show. But, the screenplay is not really exciting to keep the audience up on their toes and Shankar fails miserably at that.
The film kick-starts with Koonan’s (Vikram) character abducting Diya (Amy Jackson) from her marriage. Then the story moves back and forth in flashback and present – forming two parallel stories on how the ferocious body-builder Lingesan (Vikram), who aspires to win Mr. India title, lands up in the glamorous world of advertising and Koonan’s clandestine operations. Shankar’s expository to set the stage has taken more time than usual and that’s a bit of a worry.
The first half of the film equally belongs to both Amy Jackson and Vikram. Amy Jackson’s to-die-for attitude, lofty gaits and stunningly gorgeous looks sometimes even outshine Vikram’s performance in the first half. Vikram’s Madras slang is highly enjoyable and his luscious chemistry with Amy Jackson is a gorgeous sight to watch. The highlight of the first half is the lushly shot portions in China that offer endless aesthetic pleasures in each frame. Two eyes don’t look sufficient enough to behold the entrancing, eye-popping visuals of PC Sreeram.
The second half is full of revelations – the antagonists in the film appear toothless and don’t carry the searing menace that’s gravely needed for the story. Vikram’s arresting performance in Koonan character is the sole consoling factor in the second half which meanders frequently and becomes predictable.
I is both brutal and lyrical thanks to Anthony’s seamless editing. But, the length is a tad too long and a good 10-15 minutes clipping would do more value to the end product, especially in the second half where the story treads the cliched, old-fashioned revenge saga.
Anal Arasu’s rivetingly staged stunts in the gym are nail-biting. One of the most fascinating moments in the film occurs when Vikram and Upen Patel fight ferociously over fists. Mary E Vogt’s luxurious costumes elevate the advertising portions in the film to an elephantine level, complimented by PC Sreeram’s tastefully structured shots.
AR Rahman’s background score for the romance portions are superbly poetic. Rahman’s innovation hasn’t stopped with the film’s album alone; he has carried his form to the background score for fight scenes with minimal use of instruments and absorbing, dominating vocals. Muthuraj’s eye-candy set-pieces offer transcendence sense of excitement and Srinivas Mohan’s visual effects in Mersalaayitten song warrants mention.
Toting up ‘I’, the visuals dazzle your eyes, Vikram’s sterling performance breaks your heart and shivers your soul but the engagement factor goes for a toss.
I Movie Review Rating: 4/5