After the release of ‘Anniyan’ back in 2006, Shankar noted that it would be beyond the bounds of possibility for him to come up with such a movie again. But five years later, he came up with ‘Enthiran’, his dream project. Though not matching his previous ventures, the Rajnikanth starrer was certainly a flick that stole many a heart with its visual gimmicks and the unparalleled screen charisma of the superstar himself.
Probably with his dream project being put finally on the screens, it now seems like Shankar has certainly been deluded with what has been called as his trademark touch. Three years it took for his next so-called dream project, Ai, to hit the big screen. But then, the film has landed as a ‘yet another passable movie’.
Shankar’s ‘Ai’ is certainly not something on par with the hype it generated. A simple and indifferent revenge story with the only variation being with the way the antagonist tortures his rivals, who are the reasons for his gruesome looks. Accolades for the movie, if any, would hover around the versatile actor who has come up with a character that can be well remembered for long time. We all know how far Vikram can go with his roles, so let’s keep it out of the discussion here, for he is the sole show stealer in the movie. But keeping aside that, the movie offers you nothing to keep you mesmerized.
We all know what Shankar has been keen on: The stunning visual imageries of his songs that boast the visual serenities of the outdoor locations or of the grandeur art creations. With Ai, he has stretched the visual treats to take it out of the songs and for a prolonged duration within the movie. The visuals set in the gardens of some part of China are a treat indeed and could rouse the romantic tenors in anyone. But apart from those locations, barely do the scenes invoke romantic flavors in your mind. The romantic thriller is after all not that romantic when it comes to the core. Well, they get packed up right in the first half. And in the latter part of the movie, it completely takes us through the inside story, which is quite predictable in delivery.
Shankar’s concealment of his primary antagonist can be reasoned with nothing, as the latter’s introduction as suspense is flawed. In fact, you get the hint right from the early scenes; thanks to the extra generosity attributed to that character throughout the movie.
The movie could have certainly come up with a surprise factor had there been only a little revelation of the hideous character of Vikram in its trailer. But that never happened, and the plot swifts along in the same manner which you could predict it to be.
If you shed all your expectations of a Shankar movie and assume the hype that has been in for quite some time as non-existent, you could end up on a satisfactory note. The Shankar factor isn’t quite present in the movie and what the movie gives you overall is a revenge story that you have already seen many a time.
Do not buy your ticket charmed by the tag “Athukkum mele”. Ai is nothing compared to the previous flicks by Shankar.