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Home > Movies > Reviews

Bheema: It's Vikram's show all the way!

Pavithra Srinivasan | January 15, 2008 17:15 IST


Gang war! That's the latest from the Lingusamy-Vikram bastion, and they manage to tug you into the crossfire, after a fashion.

 After many months of sky-high expectations, fits and starts and nerves tingling with anticipated pleasure, comes A M Rathnam's flashy Tamil venture, produced with state-of-the-art techniques and freeze frames that promise to dazzle you. That promise, at least, they manage to deliver.

While Chinna (Prakashraj) rattles the city as goon extraordinaire with a heart of gold, there strides into the picture, Sekar (Vikram) the man with muscles of iron and a heart full of none but Chinna himself -- he even has the man's name tattooed on his chest. Thalapathi, anyone?

A sharp, slick little flashback in Rameswaram -- young Sekar captures your heart as he slowly but surely begins his hero-worship -- sets the tone, and you settle down to enjoy their adventures. Together, they manage to rattle the bad guy -- known reverently and fearfully as Periyavar (Raghuvaran, spluttering and mouthing cliches throughout), who proves to be a surprising muff when it comes to trapping the Chinna-Sekar duo.

Sekar, who, even before Chinna gives a signal, crashes through his opponents with bare fists and blocks of wood with inimitable style, makes his mark as a supremely violent and mean-fisted thug.

Along comes Charu (Trisha [Images]), the peppy college sprite who encounters Sekar in his full villainy glory, fuzzy beard and all -- and falls for him. She follows him around, pokes bubbles in the air, sings a few songs and then, when he points his gun at her, disappears for a brief while to let the gang pick up the story again. 

Running around Chennai with automatics in full view has never been this good. Shades of Kaakha Kaakha flit by your memory as close-cropped police officers plan an ambush. Naturally they end up groaning on the floors while Sekar, the one-man Bheema who single-handedly holds up the Chinna gang in the midst of opposition from Periyavar and the new Commissioner (Ashish Vidhyarthi in a tiny role that's a throwback to Dhil) walks away victorious.

The clop-clop of designer boots thudding over car-parks, bullets ricocheting and fists pounding get tedious after a while. Sekar always wins... but only with the aid of sheer brawn and muscle. There's no evidence of brain games or smart outwitting.

Prakashraj's Chinna is an endearing man who ought to have been a kindly professor but he fits into the role of a goodhearted rowdy so well that you cheer him on -- especially in the flashback scenes, and when he's in the throes of love. He's a little too emotional, though, to make a really good goonda -- which is why perhaps he needs so many satellites.

But it's clearly Vikram's movie all the way. The man is a star enough to shoulder the hefty role -- and you wish there had been more for him to do other than run around bashing up twenty men. He does woo Trisha well when he gets the chance. And when he, lost in a few moments of love-fantasy, falters in his duty, you see vintage Vikram. Ah, there he shines. But his reasons for walking away from his friend, philosopher and guide is flimsy, to say the least.

Trisha looks wan and tired in a couple of songs, but otherwise manages to carry off the bubbly girl in love. Lucky lass, as her parents don't say a word when she suddenly ups and leaves home; they're not even in sight! The director obviously felt that since this was a gang war-underworld movie, logic could go for a toss.

Hard to believe that dialogues have been penned by veteran writer Sujatha -- so many 'potturu' and 'thookidu' (kill/murder) words litter the conversations that you begin to yawn. It becomes worse when the Commissioner too, employs the same language.

Harris Jayaraj's music makes your feet tap for exactly two seconds. After that, you remember Ghajini, and promptly go down memory lane -- especially during the Mudhal Mazhai song.

The stunt director easily walks away with all the honours for the movie -- it's a bash fest, and he knows it.

Bheema has all the trappings of a blockbuster -- and it may yet become one. And yet, when you compare it to the panache and magic of a Saamy or a Dhil ... there's something definitely missing.

Rediff Rating:



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