Michael movie review: Sandeep Kishan reinvents himself in director Ranjith Jayakody’s labor of love that doesn’t add up

Michael movie review: Sandeep Kishan reinvents himself in director Ranjith Jayakody’s labor of love that doesn’t add up

Some films immediately draw the viewer into their world and the many characters that inhabit it. Few films keep the audience at an arm’s length, oblivious to what is happening on screen. And then there are films that lie between the two possibilities. Michael, the Telugu-Tamil gangster drama also dubbed into Hindi, Kannada and Malayalam, directed by Ranjith Jayakudy and starring an impressive Sandeep Kishan, falls into the third category. It’s a labor of love that benefits greatly from a technical team that adds to the mood of the play, and yet, towards the end, Michael is less than growing up to its potential.

The story unfolds in different time periods – the 1980s and 90s, but is mostly anchored in the mid-1990s. The drama is set in Mumbai and Delhi. We learn about the title character from the point of view of Swami (Ayappa Sharma) and the section is curiously titled ‘After the Climax’. We first see Michael as a young lad in a chapter titled ‘Before the Beginning’ — before he became a gangster.

Cast: Sandeep Kishan, Divyansha Kaushik, Vijay Sethupathi, Gautham Menon
Directed by: Ranjit Jayakudy
Music: Sam CS

Young Michael comes across as a child who can hide his emotions and is not deterred by brutal violence. His quest will involve a bloodbath. His mother must have a back story, as evidenced by a photograph and a few possessions she owns.

However, in the 90s, Michael wins the trust of underworld gangster Gurunath (Gautham Menon). Things don’t go as planned when Michael is tasked with killing a girl and her father.

Ranjit took off his hat. The Godfather, John Wick franchise and several gangster dramas. He’s aware that he’s not reinventing the wheel, and manages to create a world with interesting characters in an environment that adds a lot to the drama.

Cinematographer Karan Kaushik’s palette is filled with warm tones, often revolving around dark browns and blacks. Gandhi Nadikodekar’s production design recreates the period setting with cars, landline telephones and accessories of the time. Action sequences choreographed by Dinesh Kasi look raw and real.

When you strip. Michael Bare-bones, it’s a revenge drama about a man who hunts with fire in his eyes. Several visual passages attempt to symbolically raise the flames.

The layers slowly peel away to reveal the true colors of some of the principal characters. Many of them, including Michael, are neither completely white nor black. A few are offensive to the word but don’t add to the film despite all the glitter around them. Like Ansuya Bhardwaj and Varun Sandesh’s characters. Ansuya is no stranger to gangster drama. (back – rise) And she does her best in the role assigned to her, as an obnoxious woman who knows how to play her cards. Varun makes him fit into an over-the-top character quite well.

However, this film belongs to Sandeep Kishan. As Michael, he speaks very little and conveys the character’s mystery and menace through his body language, which remains firmly on cue. The trailer of the film hinted that it is the story of a man who fought in love and lost. When Michael meets Thera (Divyansha Kaushik), an unusual romance is born. She keeps reminding him not to fall for her and she will break his heart. There is another love story in the heart. Michael Which turns out to be later.

In the pre-intermission segments, when a major character’s true colors come out, it’s a sign that the film has a lot more cards to reveal. It all comes out fast towards the last 10-15 minutes. Since the climax carries the weight of the story, the parts immediately after the interval come across as mediocre and even boring.

A long-drawn-out voiceover explains how a character can come back from oblivion. It goes on and on and after a point, I wanted to say, please go ahead.

A welcome addition Michael Vijay Sethupathi and Varalakshmi Sarathkumar have the presence as a couple who can instill courage in a wounded young couple and tell them to ‘leave it to us’.

Sandeep’s performance is spine-tingling. Michael; He owns his share and looks like a man who is hungry and busy. Divyansha gets a role that requires her to look mysterious and enigmatic and she makes it believable. For those who have seen Gautham Menon in Tamil and Malayalam cinema, his portrayal of evil will come as no surprise. He plays a gangster warlord with a poker face and Ranjith tries to add to his charisma by forcing him to read books. The Godfather, The Old Man and the Sea And Macbeth. Does it all add up to intrigue? Absolutely not.

An asset of the film is Sam CS’s music. For example, take Divyansha’s introductory sequence which is heavy on the guitar and ends with him playing one after the dance performance. The music speaks, even Michael is reminded of a picture of his mother with a guitar. Admirable, women of Michael There are no pressures.

The story raises several questions about forgiveness and redemption. Some dialogues are written very quickly. However, the gangster drama has a sheen that robs the film of its sheen.

Michael There is a labor of love that sometimes feels too laborious and tries too hard to impress. Despite the best efforts of its actors and technical team, the film fails to find its strong voice in the frenzy of gangster dramas that we have seen in the last decade.

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