Let's get the negatives out of the way- (Multiple) Suriya starrer 'Massu' has a bit of everything we love to hate about Tamil cinema. Ill-timed songs that have no bearing on the plot, melodrama that will remind you of the serials that grandmothers watch underwhelming (at times cringeworthy) computer graphics, hollow female leads who are just there because, hey, you need them for the movie to sell. Despite the traditional commercial elements that abound the film, there were things which 'Massu' was definitely worth watching for.
Is it horror? Comedy? Revenge- action- drama? Romance? Well, you really can't tell. It has literally everything, and the movie's length belies this. To package a decent account of all of the tracks in a less than 150-minute long Tamil film is in itself a decent accomplishment. The recent 'horror' boom in Tamil cinema has been well harvested, but in a way you would hardly have imagined while walking into the theatre.
4. The not-so-important 'twists'
How often have we seen Tamil movie plots rely heavily on that one big twist designed to make the audience go 'Semma twist, machi', only for them to go 'Twist eh illa, adhaan twist-u'? In Massu, Venkat Prabhu does not take the risk that he did in Mankatha. There are several small twists that will simply surprise you, but none of them is earth-shattering. That keeps the main story moving.
3. The 'Premgi' we all love
After ineffective, if not excruciating comedy performances in his previous two films, we see the return of the Premgi who doesn't try too much. He has been used well in the script, takes part in the twists and provides great comic relief in a revenge-based, blood-thirsty story. His final contribution to the film is his greatest and has the audience in splits. It is better to watch it than read about it.
2. Redefining the guest appearance/ reference to other movies
We all know Venkat Prabhu's fetish for giving guest roles to the entire cast of Chennai- 600028 in his movies. This time he references them from movies they have acted in, in a way that fits the plot and the prevailing situation. It is creative, entertaining and factually consistent with the tracks of the referenced movie. Watch out for Jai's appearance.
All said and done, if there is a single glue that holds together the various commercial aspect of the film, it is the novel (at least to Tamil cinema) concept. We have seen Casper and Amitabh Bacchan as entertaining, rib-tickling ghosts that only some people can see.It is refreshing to see Karunaas, Srimaan and Premgi don this role in comic fashion.
The film carries the tag 'A Venkat Prabhu sixer'. get this, right- It is no Dhoni piledriver that flies out of the ground. It is probably the ungainly top edge that goes over the keeper and just about clears the boundary. Six runs, still.
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