Starring: Vijay, Nayanthara, Jackie Shroff, Kathir, Vivek
Release dates: 25 October 2019
Running time: 177 minutes
Budget: ₹180 crore
Box office: ₹285–305 crore
IMDb Rating: 6.7/10 (22K)
Bigil is a fan-made film on Vijay, and its director, Atlee, goes to great lengths to demonstrate that the actor is the messiah of the people or, more specifically, the next MGR. Atlee directed Bigil. The video begins with students demonstrating to rescue their college building from demolition. Don and the all-around good guy Michael (Vijay) come to their aid in this situation. Also, he wishes you a "Happy Deepavali, Nanba." The audience goes wild in the theater.
Even though Bigil does not directly address political topics, throughout the film, it is implied that Vijay is the representative of Tamil Nadu and a possible candidate for the position of Chief Minister. In addition, it details the life of Rayappan, Michael's biological father. In one of the moments, Rayappan (the older Vijay) listens to ‘Enna dhaan nadakkum… nadakattume’, a favorite number of the late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister. In one of them is a reference to "Thalaivan Irukkiraan," another film MGR directed.
Even since the founding of DMK, cinema, and politics have stayed intertwined—considering how MGR was the only powerful full-fledged actor-turned-politician who went on to dominate the State. (Rajinikanth is still leaping, while his classmate Kamal Haasan is entering politics.) It's amusing how fans go crazy whenever Vijay is depicted as another MGR. Fans shout, whistle and go crazy whenever Vijay is shown as another MGR. This goal is to convince people that Vijay is precisely what the director thinks he is.
Let’s talk about contradictions and the tedious length of Bigil. It was advertised as an ambitious sports film, but the coach Michael, spends more time mouthing punch phrases than he does teaching the girls how to play football. Bigil isn’t another predictable sports film but established in a pattern. There is an aspect of the underdog, and it is clear who will triumph despite the overwhelming odds. Atlee can make everything 'appear' as though it is successful somehow. But this does not make Bigil a good movie at all.
This Vijay-starrer is unnecessarily overcrowded with several characters and subplots. Atlee has a lot of things to say, and he is having trouble fitting it all within the allotted three hours. The majority of the time, coaches are the ones who construct the squad and encourage players to do well. In Bigil, Michael ‘motivates’ his squad by belittling them. He calls one of the players ‘Gundam’ (fat lady, literally), several times; so that she can deliver a goal. When exactly did it become acceptable to use fat shaming as a kind of "encouragement"?
The camera focuses on the same Pandiyamma as she comes racing to the stadium in a film described as "empowering." We are shown the earth to be trembling to get us laughing. Plus, talk about that misplaced-awful background music! In spite of the fact that Michael states, "saadhikka azhagu mukkiyam illa," the mood of the moment is not appropriate. And you are not seeing it in that light at all. Although Vijay lends a cheery energy to the part, the performance is not serious. At some points throughout the story, Atlee seems to forget that his protagonist is Michael, the coach. The speeches match sequences; everything is for ‘Thalapathy’ Vijay and panders to his image.
Angel, Michael's potential romantic interest, is portrayed by Nayanthara. It is quite annoying to watch her character follow Michael like a Mad Hound, no matter where he goes. She is depicted as a physiotherapist, yet the viewer never sees her performing any of the duties associated with her profession.
Even though there is a subplot in Bigil regarding women's football, there is not much information about the players, including their lives, struggles, and ambitions. Bigil believes that Vijay is Lord Krishna, the one controlling the chariot. In Mahabharata, Krishna is the driver of the horse cart. In this scenario, Michael serves both as the savior and Sarathy, the chariot's driver, which horses pull (read: women players). One of the most essential scenes includes the appearance of this image.
The stadium is the setting for several pivotal football moments. However, the choreography in these situations is subpar. It seems I was watching a video game being played in front of a filled theater. In contrast to me, fans didn't appear to have any problems with it. Those slow-motion photos of Michael playing football were entirely staged, and there was not even the slightest hint of realism about them. Archana Kalpathi, the film's creative producer, revealed that the producers had disclosed that they had spent Rs 180 crore on the project, but the result was not remotely spectacular.
Rayappan was someone who appealed to me quite a bit. Vijay is fantastic in the role of the don, who has a stammer. Both his manner of speech and his actions exhibit a degree of honesty. Yet his character reminded me of Rajinikanth in Kaala and Kamal Haasan in Naayagan. I am going to presume that Atlee enjoys the show Ulaganayagan. Because Bigil has a reference to Bigg Boss Tamil 2's 'Odavum Mudiyadhu Oliyavum Mudiyadhu,' which can also be found in Bigg Boss Tamil 2. If Mersal was much like Aboorva Sagotharargal, Bigil is like a modernized, visionless, and classless version of Naayagan. Mersal was a lot like Aboorva Sagotharargal. I believe that I am being charitable.
The two Vijay characters have a cohesive relationship with one another, but the film's halves do not.
In addition, we have Kathir of Pariyerum Perumal fame playing a football coach in a poorly underwritten part. Yet, considering that he is a tremendous fan of Vijay, he ought to have been content with whatever it was that he was offered. In addition, the comedian Vivekh appears in Bigil in a role that is easy to miss. I wish talent powerhouses like Jackie Shroff and Daniel Balaji were given more substantial roles to play in their careers. I particularly enjoyed the way the character of Anitha, who survived an acid attack and was played by Reba Monica John, was conceived of.
It's fascinating to think about how movies may balance delivering a message with providing enjoyment without compromising the core elements of their settings. Even though Atlee brings everything together in the nail-biting final match sequences, Bigil is not Vijay's Dangal or "Chak De India on steroids," as Shah Rukh had previously described the film. In comparison to their prior films made together, Theri and Mersal, I am confident that this movie might have been a lot better if Atlee had given more effort into the writing, conception, and execution of the picture.