Planet Bollywood
Producer: V. Ravichandran and D. Ramesh Babu
Director: Shankar
Starring: Vikram, Amy Jackson, Santhanam, Upen Patel and Suresh Gopi
Music: A R Rahman
Lyrics: Irshad Kamil
Genre: Thriller
Recommended Audience: Parental Guidance
Film Released on: 14 January 2015
Reviewed by: Anish Mohanty  - Rating: 6.5 / 10
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Public Rating Average: 5.11 / 10 (rated by 410 viewers)
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The release of a film directed by Shankar is an event in itself. The filmmaker is known for making films that are mounted on a monumental scale and more often than not, offer the viewers something that they have not witnessed on the screen earlier. Shankar had last collaborated with actor Vikram on the vastly entertaining ‘Anniyan’ (released as ‘Aparichit’ in Hindi). Expectations are huge as the actor-director duo come together again for I, a romantic thriller. The film has raised a lot of curiosity what with Vikram being seen in a beast like avatar in the film’s posters and promos. The film, apart from releasing in Tamil, has been dubbed in Hindi, among other languages.

Dia (Amy Jackson) is about to get married when is kidnapped by a strange, frightful looking being. The film goes into flashback mode and we are introduced to Lingesan (Vikram), a body builder who is infatuated with Dia, who happens to be a very successful model. Vikram participates in the ‘Mr. Tamil Nadu’ body building champions and wins the title. Dia happens to meet Lingesan and feels he has the trappings of becoming a model. She coaxes him into modeling for a brand with her as she believes it would get her out of a professional issue. Lingesan agrees to work as a model and help her out of the problem. Lingesan does well as a model but in the process, makes some enemies. Meanwhile, Dia reciprocates Lingesan’s feelings and both of them dream of a future together. Lingesan’s enemies team up together and hatch a plan to destroy him.

Shankar’s films have never been known for their subtlety. In this film, too, everything is loud but not garish. Comic scenes laced with double entendre jokes, action scenes loaded with the extravagance of VFX – there is nothing in the film that would that would qualify as being subtle. Is that a bad news? Not really. Yes, some of the scenes, intended to invoke laughs (and bordering on misogynism), should have been toned down. The film delivers a bucketful of entertainment but the loopholes in a contrived plot are far too many too ignore.

Shankar’s direction is very good but is weighed down by a largely predictable script The script (Shankar, Subha) is predictable all the way; the writers try to shock the viewers with a twist that’s not hard to guess. Despite being laden with an ordinary screenplay, Shankar has made a film that is entertaining in most parts. The film moves at a brisk pace and holds the viewers’ interest throughout its three hour runtime. Editing (Anthony) is good. P.C Sreeram’s camerawork is terrific. Some portions of the film have been shot in picturesque locations and gorgeous sets. He captures the colourful frames beautifully. A R Rahman’s music is a mixed bag with a couple of songs turning out to be hummable, while the rest not making any mark at all. The songs have been picturised very imaginatively though. The action sequences have been executed very well and fun to watch.

Vikram blazes across the screen like a blinding light. No adjective can do justice to describe the wonderful performance that the talented actor delivers. Though he plays just one character, there are multiple layers in it and the actor carries off this multi layered character with perfection. One feels like cheering for him when he gets even with his enemies. Amy Jackson looks very pretty and pulls off a decent performance. Santhanam, who plays Vikram’s friend, is brilliant. Suresh Gopi delivers a good performance but his character could have been sketched better. Upen Patel gets a meaty role to play. His character gains prominence in the second half but his performance is not upto the mark. Ojas Rajani gets to play a stereotyped character but is good nevertheless. Ramkumar Ganesan and M. Kamaraj play their parts well.

I does not live upto the high standards that one associates with Shankar. The film is not path breaking by any stretch of imagination but it has tremendous entertainment value. Despite being saddled with a screenplay that promises so much but delivers little, the film makes for a compelling watch. If not for anything, watch it for Vikram’s spellbinding performance.

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