dr martens outlet store Vikram’s performance is the only redeeming feature of I
I is all about Vikram
Spoiler alert! I is the name of a perfume and most importantly the virus which makes the dapper Vikram unrecognizable. But that’s just for namesake. I is all about Vikram.
In cinema, actors are especially conscious of beauty and physique. So it takes guts for an actor to step forward and become unattractive to the degree of looking sick and deformed. There is a willingness to look a fool such as when Vikram strikes multiple poses to show off his muscles to the tune of Jodhaa Akbar’s “Azeem O Shaan Shahenshah”; do a fight sequence dressed only in black underwear. It’s impressive to see Vikram push the limits and his committed act alone makes the film worth a watch.
Vikram wholeheartedly goes under the skin(s) of Lingesan aka Lee, a body builder and zealous fan of a model, Diya, (Amy Jackson). The role is tailor made for Jackson who spends most of the film confidently posing for the camera in rather ridiculous clothes and dancing.
It’s a been there done that story about tapori boy loves educated, privileged girl, who initially doesn’t reciprocate his love but eventually does until tragedy strikes. It arrives collectively in the shape of a loathsome quintet: a paedophilic, perverted doctor (Suresh Gopi), a womanising model (Upen Patel), a businessman who looks an awful lot like Vijay Mallya (Ramkumar Ganesan),
a gay stylist (Ojas Rajani) and a body builder.
They all have issues with Lingesan aka Lee and decide the best way to get even with him is not by killing him but by robbing him off his prized looks. So a virus is injected which does the needful. Its effect is devastating. The otherwise assured Lee is a mess, physically and mentally. He seeks justice in his own disturbing manner, coming up with ingenious way to disfigure his enemies. It’s not an easy watch and it also makes Shankar’s perception of those with physical deformities disconcerting. It is validated when in the dubbed Hindi version, Lee says that it would have been better if he was killed than be left in the state he is.
Shankar doesn’t spend too much time on the significance of beauty in a romance or the emotional repercussions of it on the relationship between Lee and Diya. Instead he has villains, revenge and bloody action on his mind. We largely experience the illness from Lee’s point of view with Diya’s perspective, which would have been more fascinating. In his disfigured state, Lee doesn’t dare to be seen by Diya, certain that she wouldn’t accept him. wrong. But isn’t love above physical beauty? Or as they say, beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. Not in Shankar’s view because going by the events in the first half Lee is attracted to Diya primarily for the way she looks. This contradiction makes I a hard buy for Shankar’s suggestion that looks don’t matter.
I has a share of problems, primary being its three hour long running time, plenty of which is spent in staging elaborately choreographed fight sequences one of which unfolds in China with bike stunts on rooftops. Shankar’s handling of a gay character is disconcerting. In classic Shankar style, there are far too many extravagant songs too;
only a couple hold your attention with our favourite being the special effects heavy “Mersalaayiten” in which Vikram fantasizes about Diya in all forms. The less said about the one paying tribute to Beauty and the Beast the better. Even AR Rahman’s score is unappealing and the background score exaggerated.
Only Vikram brings some energy to the proceedings even as you question how two models can do all the commercials in a city. An hour shorter and more time and money spent on writing a story than shooting in exotic locations such as Lexiaguo in China and this could have been fun.