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BIGIL (Tamil / 2019) - Post a dicey beginning, this turns into a perfect mainstream entertainer mixing three genres of a gangster movie, sports drama and a women-centric, message-oriented film reaching the masses. (Review by Bobby Sing)

01 Jan, 2020 | Movie Reviews / 2019 Releases / Indian Regional language Gems (Other Than Hindi)

Mass entertainers featuring mega stars have always been a representative feature of Hindi films since the 70s. But sadly, we haven’t really seen many great mainstream movies with a perfect mix of content, action, drama and emotions in the last couple of decades. And even if there have been a few, they were mostly the remakes of their south originals only, that excel in this particular potential genre without any doubt.
Hence there can be no denial to the fact that the makers down South have been delivering much superior, enjoyable and successful mass entertainers later adapted by the Hindi filmmakers and BIGIL is one of those winners yet again, which largely works, especially in its second half.
To be fair, you get nothing you haven’t seen before in BIGIL and yet you get excited as well as entertained watching the mostly predictable sequences on screen featuring the big cast ensemble. And it all becomes engaging as the makers smartly mix three genres together in the film namely a gangster genre, a sports drama and a women-oriented mass appealing theme bringing forward the underdogs.
Written and directed by Atlee following his typical style, BIGIL has Vijay in double role of the father-son as an exceptional football player turned gangster, alongside Jackie Shroff as the villain and Nayanthara playing Vijay's love interest. Despite being a don, he takes the responsibility of coaching a girls football team in absence of his friend. And the film is all about how he does that helping the talented players along with exploiting his power of a don.
So we get a mix of everything from Godfather to Chakk De India including many socially relevant sub-plots focusing on suppressed married woman and even an acid attack victim leading towards a victorious climax. The energetic background music and theme track enhances the proceedings much better than the songs by A. R. Rahman and the film does lack the depth and logic, which is actually not anything expected from these kinds of mainstream movies.
Also, BIGIL is lengthy and predictable throughout with a pretty over the top opening 30 minutes that can easily be called its weakest part focusing on the forced introductions, flashbacks, romance and other clichéd story developments. However once the characters settle down, the narration starts picking and then it all works because of the heart touching emotions and thrilling dramatic scenes incorporated in the right dosage. As a result, the second half of BIGIL becomes a clear crowd-pleaser with Vijay leading it impressively catering his fans, family audiences and both young and matured women in particular. The underdogs winning sequences work really well and they truly make you feel for the characters emoting on the field.
Apart from the performances (from all girls in the team), what also works noticeably in the film is its cinematography and enjoyable dialogues coming at regular intervals. The visuals of the fields and crowd cheering for the team add to the grandeur and you really feel glad for the struggling winners. A special mention also needs to be made for Nayanthara, who looks stunning in her well-chosen attires even on the field. She does superbly in her given scenes and never looks like left out in the sequences having so many performers in the frame. Leading from the front, Vijay begins on a stumbling note but then soon starts making an impression as his two characters get established through some explosive action scenes. His star-enigma gets a perfect treatment by the writer-director and he does equally well in both his dramatic, emotional as well as action and on-field sequences as a football coach.
In all, this is a complete masala entertainer for everyone, especially for the young girls and women in the families. The film turns into a women-centric, message-oriented sports movie in its final hour and that is exactly where you forget all those over-enthusiastic acts in the beginning going with the emotions displayed by the girls on and off the field.
To be honest, BIGIL is nothing fresh or novel but is surely engaging, entertaining and inspiring giving you complete return of your time and money spent. As a matter of fact, here is a film Salman Khan should be doing in Hindi cinema satisfying his huge fan following moving ahead of his many recent average movies. 

Rating : 3 + 0.5 / 5 (with the additional 0.5 for its women-centric theme and the performances of all the talented girls in the team) 

(Note: BIGIL can be seen at Amazon Prime for a subscription with English Subtitles)

Tags : BIGIL (Tamil) Review by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, Tamil Films Reviews by Bobby Sing, Indian Regional Language Gems List by Bobby Sing, Must Watch Indian Regional Movies with English Subtitles, Vijay as football player.
01 Jan 2020 / Comment ( 2 )
Ashok Sridharan

I believe you've been way too kind. Bigil was a typical Vijay film. Assuredly, Tamil cinema delivered far better stuff, most of which may not be known outside of the south.

To my mind, the best Tamil movie of 2019 was Asuran- its a movie on caste battles that's likely to go down as one of the classics of Tamil cinema. If you have a taste for thrillers, check out Vellai Pookal and Thadam- two absolutely fantastic mystery thrillers which will hold their own in any era.

One last recommendation: Jiivi. For want of a better description, I'll classify it as a karmic thriller. Fell short on execution, but the concept- to my limited knowledge- is absolutely unique.

Bobby Sing

Dear Ashok,
It will be kiddish to expect something artistic and off-beat from a mainstream film made to entertain the audience. However many a times that doesn't seem to be any entertainment at all due to the obvious reasons.

Having said that, entertainment also comes from typical films too when done with style and intelligence together for instance Manmohan Desai's film which are loved till date.

In this case it was the same as despite being typical BIGIL did manage to engage and entertain throughly. Though its completely fine to expect a lot more from the stars when they promise to deliver.

Continuing with the thought, ASURAN also presents and talks about the same old things without any novelty but becomes a winner with its execution. There is nothig new in both these films, yet they work because of their treatment.

Will surely watch the other recommended too and would like to apologise for my late reply.
Keep Visiting and Writing in,

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