Cast: Vijay, Nayanthara, Vivek, Jackie Shroff, Yogi Babu, Varsha Bollamma, Induja, and Reba Monica John
Music by AR Rahman
Written by Atlee & Ramana Girivasan
Cinematography G K Vishnu
Edited by Ruben
Directed by Atlee
Produced by AGS Entertainments
Atlee and Vijay established themselves as a huge fan frenzy combination with Theri and Mersal. Aiming at hattrick and record-breaking hit with a social relevant message at heart, they arrived at theatres with Bigil/Whistle as Deepavali Kondattam (celebration) for fans of Vijay and movie lovers. Trailers showed that the movie is ambitious and talks much about women’s empowerment with sports drama at its core. Can it live up to the hype?
Bigil (Vijay) is a highly talented football player and his father, Rayappa/Rajappa (Vijay) is a big Don. He wants to change his area of children’s future by letting Bigil be a symbol of inspiration and achievement. But Rayappa and Bigil face issues in the form of higher officials and politics. With a young women team assembled out of talented players from lower economic classes like Bigil’s, he tries to achieve the goal of Rayappa. Is he able to achieve that? If he did so, how? Watch the film for answers.
A R Rahman gives the film all the life with his scintillating BGM score and his songs are well-picturized too. Cinematography by Vishnu is also top-notch but VFX is gaming level than the filmmaking level that we watch in Bollywood films, even though the film has the budget equal to such massive films. Editing could have been sharp and writing gets overtly ambitious with many issues getting space in a movie that aims to be commercial.
Vijay is good and physically fit to play a character like Bigil. But his Micheal and Rayappan characters are too routine. He tries to overact in a few scenes but his screen presence covers all the issues. Nayantara is good but she did not get enough space even though the movie runtime is really long. All others are okay with Kathir standing out. Comedy by Yogibabu and Vivek, did not work at all.
The greatest accomplishment of Atlee Kumar in filming Bigil/Whistle is that he managed to not make a political film while discussing all kinds of issues that are social and political too. But the problem with all his films continues to grow rather than subside. Again he makes two films in one film. He doesn’t keep the story concentrated on one issue and one problem. He tries to make a political statement that will help Vijay’s future plans and at the same time tries to keep sports drama relevant. This makes the movie an arid exercise than an experience. Sports drama doesn’t sit well with the commercial masala genre kind of package.
Also, Atlee tries to insert an elevation for hero every 10 minutes as if Vijay’s contract with the production house would have been nullified if he doesn’t live upto the clause. He doesn’t keep the film real at any point and emotions rendered throughout the runtime feel ambiguous, unreal and at times forced as well. He lethargically tries to fit everything and satisfy every person who watches the film. His ambition takes over his best judgemental sense to keep the film story running rather than halting it episodically and periodically for elevations, comic moments and big sentimental moments. The movie is an overstuffed Panda that tries hard to move but lacks any Kung-fu skills.