Mask has a different ambience, a ferocious hero, Kung Fu and a terrific BG score. Sadly, the premise is not exciting.
In a nutshell, Mask is a Chandamama folktale story told in the Chinese patois, with so much Tamil romance thrown in. If you watch the first 15 minutes you will expect something extraordinary from the movie, though the influences seem not only obvious but also interesting. However, it won't take you 15 more minutes to realize that Mask is old wine in a snazzy bottle.
An ordinary callous youth who loves the legendary Bruce Lee, and loves to call himself as Lee, is in the centre. Circumstances force him to use his skills to for social good - against a gang of baddies. If the narrative was refreshing, we would have excused the old wine.
Jiiva is a new age hero, while Narain, who plays the baddie, looks a routine villain. Pooja Hegde plays the heroine; Nasser (as Commissioner of Police Gaurav) and Selva leave their impressions in pivotal roles. Lee (Jiiva), constantly berated by his father, adores his master Selva. He bumps into Shanthi (Pooja Hegde), Gaurav's daughter. He tries to woo her in superman-like attire but the plan soon backfires.
Enters a gang of baddies led by Dragon (Narain). He runs a kung fu school. He has a secret life, that of burglary, and painting the town in blood leaving no clue about them. Gaurav is given the responsibility to tackle the crime.
By quirk of fate, he ends up taking law into his own hands to nab Dragon's goons. All boils down to a brutal battle between Lee and the Dragon. It is more brawn and no brain once the action begins.
There are only few actors in the industry today who could have pulled it off like Jiiva has done. Watching him do the stunts is a treat to watch. He has it in him to make an impression on the Telugu audience as well.
Narain is not far behind. He is cool as a baddie. His menacing eyes come to his aid. Pooja Hegde has an insubstantial role. No big opportunity for her on screen.
Nasser had the role of a cop on a mission cut out for him, and he excels in it. Selva, back after a gap, makes his presence felt. Girish Karnad as Jiiva's grandfather is ok.
The cinematography by Sathya and background score by K are big assets. Both complement each other. Especially the BGM in the climax adds pep to the proceedings, though the songs lack Telugu nativity.
Gaugin as editor has worked hard but the second half needed much trimming. A song sequence, the only romantic duet between the lead pair, was well shot in the scenic locales of Switzerland.
The climax sequence shot at the Karaikal port is breathtaking. The tall structure where the stunts take place adds to the excitement. This Chennai-centric movie has been captured in shades that are different from the routine.
If Jiiva and Narain are the major pluses for the movie, the movie drags in the second half, leaving the audience in the lurch.
You will feel cheated at some point, mainly because there is neither variety in the story nor was the narration smooth and fast.
Those who have watched Mysskin's previous films would tell you that the formula is the same, but the execution was somewhat different. For those who love action films from the West and the East, Mugamoodi combines both to give some pleasure..
Released on: 31st August, 2012