A Jiiva weekend.

Mugamoodi (aka Mask) is the Indian hybrid of kung-fu padams of the east and the super-hero movies of the west. Having watched neither with much attention, I cannot tell you how much Mysskin (the director) deviates from these inspirations.

The story is rather simple. There is a notorious murderous thieving  gang at large and the police are completely at sea about how to trap them. In a parallel track, we acquaint ourselves with a kung-fu school run by a master who commands great respect from his students, one of whom is our hero, Lee aka Anand. They have altercations with a rather well-to-do kung-fu school, whose members seem rather shady. The link between these two tracks is the love at second sight story of Lee and the police chief’s daughter. The girl (as in most cases) does not have a favourable impression of the hero, who therefore dons his mask to woo and win her, and in the process gets mixed up with the gang.

The film is stylishly shot, and the background score is just beautiful. I think the movie will sail through even if you remove the already minimalistic dialogue. There is wry-humour, grandfathers, robots, chinese dragons and a climax with a hanging bus in a dilapidated construction site.

Jiiva, in my opinion, is definitely the chap to watch for amongst the newer generation of actors. After a painful first few films, he has blossomed into a suave and dependable actor, with a beautiful sense of comic-timing. The first 28 seconds of this song [Vaayamoodi summa iruda] is just brilliant, as also the heroine’s third(?) appearance in the movie. Does she throw a banana peel back into a car ? But then she has very little to do in the film, which we somehow don’t mind too much.

The villian, Naren is quite scary when he doesn’t speak much. However towards the end, the director uses him to reveal the plot, and a talkative bad guy is seldom a good idea. Directors of action-padams, there should be a better way to reveal the storyline ! Nasser, as usual gives a steady performance. Bankable is the right adjective for him, surely every director’s dream character-actor.

Worth a watch for the style factor and some beautiful action sequences [this coming from a person who generally avoids them like plague] and of course the gorgeous BGMs by music director K !

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