On seeing Shankar's latest film 'I' it struck me that Mr.Baradwaj Rangan was perhaps right in saying in the Cinema Plus Columns of The Hindu,that ''a terrific performance has been let down by an uninspired and exhausting movie''.Note here that he did not call the film uninspiring.A stupendous show of events,extremely dedicated performance by Vikram excelling on several counts, and the equally committed and supportive role performance by others, be it the heroine Amy Jackson or the quadrilateral show of villainy by Suresh Gopi, Ramakumar Ganesan,Ojas Rajani and Upen Patel and the comedian Santhanam, definitely make every frame of the movie excitingly watchable,
A.R.Reheman's 'Merselaaiyittein' will keep ringing in the ears, as the desired tune for quite sometime.But the length of the film could have been pruned by cutting short some of the scenes relating to the transgender expositions, bordering on vulgarity and the last stunt scene on a moving train, between the hero and the modelling rival. Shankar's show has always been a pendulum oscillating between ardent romance and ample social concern.Though the focus has been more on social and political issues embroiled in corruption stories as exhaustively disposed off in films like Gentleman,Indian, Mudhalvan,Anniyan, and Shivaji, romance has certainly occupied the felicitous imagination of Shankar as diversified, but exotic romantic tales, beautifully narrated through films such as Kaadhalan,Jeans,Endhiran and now ''I''.
One could never spot out any similarity in the story base of any of these romantic narrations, though the Shankar brand of visual ecstasy would remain as the constant enriching factor of all his films.The revolutionary Gentleman,the Patriotic Indian,the politically responsible Mudhalvan and the aggressively righteous Anniyan as a split personality,took different routes to achieve the extermination of the wrong side of humanity.'Nanban' was more a satirical piece without a protagonist to be remembered. Shivaji and Enthiran were more Rajini shows than Shankar's. While Kadhalan depicted the usual power of love over the rule of money and status,Jeans just discussed the twins syndrome.Boys became a robust show of youth. Enthiran established the highly imaginative idea that love could as well be experienced through a robotic incorporation of the human psyche.
But ''I'' is totally different as a romantic piece. It shows that pure and consummate love always surpasses physical boundaries with a Platonic zeal and it was this concept of love that had endeared a director like Sridhar,closer to the audience.But what is lacking in ''I'' is the depth in presenting this serene side of romance.The reason might be due to the fact that greater levels of concentration have gone into stunning make up manuals and a magnificent display of Cinematography.A technically inspired Shankar could have been inspired a little more, in injecting the deeper layers of consummate love.Though not inspired in this regard, the film is definitely inspiring on the track of technical exuberance and the hunger for performance concertedly contributed by the Shankar and Vikram team.The adventures undertaken in affording horrid physical transformations to the hero and the villains and the modules of ridicule presented by Santhanam under the guise of a Press reporter seem to pull the seriousness in narration to a tiresome process.To salute at the grand performance of Shankar and Vikram or to stand dismayed at the horrible sight of disfigured hero and villains is each one's will.