With a jaw-dropping track record of blockbusters such as Friends (2001), Thirupaachi (2005), Pokkiri (2007), Kavalan (2011) and Nanban (2012), Vijay and Pongal holidays have become synonymous with hits. After an awesome 2016 with Theri, ‘Ilayathalapathy’ is opening his account early this year with Bairavaa. Will it join the list of hits I’ve mentioned above? Read on.
Vijay and his roommate cum best friend Sathish work in the debt collecting department of a bank. Irrespective of who the defaulter is, once the case goes to Vijay’s hand, he becomes a ‘vasool chakravarthy’. One such deed gets him invited to the wedding of his manager’s daughter where he meets Keerthy Suresh and as expected, falls in love with her immediately. Only when he decides to propose her, a series of events establish a backstory for Keerthy who would’ve gotten her life at stake. Vijay decides to save her by putting an end to the troubles. What has landed Keerthy neck-deep in trouble and if Vijay can solve this forms the story of Bairavaa.
The film takes it own sweet time to establish the premise and the actual story, which is unraveled in the form of a flashback comes up only right before the end of first half. Though the first half and the flashback offers nothing new, the interval block fight scene and the massy phone conversation with the villain (which worked amazingly well with Kaththi and Thuppaki), would make us sit straight and wait for a splendid second half. But what we get to witness is a horde of been-there-seen-that scenes that leads to a climax that’s highly predictable. Apart from a few exciting shots, courtesy Vijay’s screen presence and actions, there is very less to offer in the second half.
For the last seven or so years, Vijay has maintained a balance with commercial films and films he experiments with. This has turned out to be successful as he gets to try new roles to cater to new audience as well as entertain his mammoth fan following with a high dosage of what they expect from their icon. Bairavaa is yet another flick that’s made for his fans and as always, Vijay carries the film on his shoulders. Minus the unreal voice modulation and the nonessential toupee, Vijay shines with his performance. After all, mass movies with high-flying action and captivating dialogues are Vijay’s forte.
With Bairavaa, Keerthy Suresh has officially stepped up to be the heroine of A list stars. Considering it’s a hero oriented script, she has very little to offer in the name of performance but with her expressions and acting prowess, she makes her mark. Jagapathi Babu does a decent job as the lead antagonist. Acclaimed performers such as Daniel Balaji, Y.Gee. Mahendra and Thambi Ramaiah fail to get much scope to perform while Harish Uthaman, Rekka fame Sija Rose and Sharath Lohitashwa who’ve made a name for themselves with only a few films to their credit could’ve been used better. Sathish, who’s collaborating with Vijay once again after Kaththi doesn’t evoke more than just a couple of chuckles. Mottai Rajendran portions too are inept.
It’s evident that Director Bharathan has played it safe without much experimentation. But this hasn’t worked in his favour as what we’re left with is an usual good versus evil story with the hero sweating it out laboriously to put an end to a social issue. Where Bharathan proves his flair is with the dialogues. Apart from the punch dialogues, even his regular ones pack a punch. Sukumar’s cinematography adds value to the action sequences as well as the songs. Anl Arasu’s fight scenes look fresh and makes it a visual treat. Santhosh Narayanan’s zestful BGM elevates the mass factor and his songs are enjoyable despite the fact that some of them fall as speed breakers for the film’s flow. Costumes play a major role in adding colour and novelty to the film. Art works look artificial while Editor Praveen K.L could’ve done a better job on making the film much more crisp and racy.
Vijay’s screen presence and youthful looks along with powerful dialogues and dynamic fight scenes makes Bairavaa a one-man show. On the flip-side, the film could’ve done away with a few scenes which would’ve reduced the prolonged run-time.
Overall, while Bairavaa provides nothing out-of-the-box, Vijay’s star power and a couple of noteworthy scenes makes it a barely watchable entertainer.
My rating: 2.25/5