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Vikramasimha: Visuals Over Substance

Posted on the 23 May 2014 by Haricharanpudipeddi @pudiharicharan

Movie: Vikramasimha

Director: Soundarya Rajinikanth Ashwin

Cast: Rajinikanth, Deepika Padukone, Jackie Shroff, Nasser, Sarath Kumar, Aadi Pinisetty, Shobana, Rukmini

Rating: ***

Vikramasimha could have just been that over-hyped technical extravaganza sans substance. However, within the limits that period dramas and the norms of a larger-than-life Rajinikanth starrer are conventionally known to toy with, the film uses a simple one-liner story to pack a punch with the visuals. The going isn’t exactly smooth for starters. It takes a while to adjust yourself to the near-strange physical movements, histrionics of the on-screen characters. Once the familiarity sinks in, the effort catches steam. There are no major surprises in terms of the plot but the surreal background score, the tongue-in-cheek humor and the action sequences hold enough of your attention for the major part of the proceedings.

Slickly paced under two hours, Vikramasimha is disappointing when there’s not much a 3D experience can do to mount the watching impact to another level. The creators repeatedly use broken glass pieces, eye-poking swords to justify the stamp. The film is a legacy-proving stunt in an entire measure dosed with a usual flashback reasoning the same, has an ever-waiting heroine who just can’t wait to fall into the hands of her love-interest. It has the Julius Ceasar like-Et tu Brute moment, mother-sister pleasing exercises and a Rajinikanth being lifted by a dolphin out of the waters. The warrior reigns over an army, a bunch of wild animals, talks about forgiveness and kills the antagonist the very next moment. For a viewer who complains of this being outdated, Rajinikanth has a tattoo on his back.

You don’t take much time to predict who’s in the opponent’s court and who’s not. Bearing that predictable aroma in fact works for this because you aren’t the one waiting for surprises to be extracted moment after moment. Your are drawn mostly towards the motion-capture technology, the grandeur in it amid the kid-pleasing stunts and the punchlines that any other of work of Rajinikanth would have had. For a dubbed film, the dialogues aren’t the fluff where lines are an excuse to match the lip-movements of the original version. The work behind the recreation of Nagesh, both in terms of the appearance and the voice is also immensely genuine. He is indeed the only comic-relief present in the same.

The body language of the characters are worked upon with great care. When you’re rooting for a possible Rajinikanth who could have also been the next on the list to have got caricatured by technology, you understand that there’s something special that his visual experience creates. Though Sarath Kumar and Deepika Padukone not looking their true-selves might brace you with the amateurishness of the display at times , the director warms you up with her ability to instill some soul and method amongst all the obviousness. Vikramasimha may not qualify to be the ticket to exemplary technical grandeur in Indian cinema, but, as long as it lasts, it ensures an appeal. In short, this is a much better film that the trailers have showcased it to be.

Review by Srivathsan N. First published in Cinegoer.net

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