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Ayan Review

I am going to attempt to do reviews of tv shows, movies, and video games that I play. Hopefully, it will improve my writing which has gotten fairly poor over the past couple of years.

First up, I am reviewing Ayan. Yes, yes, giggle all you want that I am watching this movie 3 years late, but its hard to come by Bluray versions of Tamil movies these days. Anyways, as usual, this review may contain minor spoilers, but I will try to avoid it as much as possible. All of the spoilers will be contained in the plot part of the review, so if you want, you can skip that part. Anyways, on with the review.

Acting/Characters

First up, let’s talk about the main actors and their characters. As usual, Surya does a great job of showing his ability to do a wide variety of scenes from comedy, action, drama, etc. No complaints from him here. Tamannaah, while beautiful to look at, as usual (in my opinion) falls short in the acting department. I saw her first in Paiyaa, and if any of you can recall, she doesn’t talk much or do much for much of that film. While she gets much more dialog here, from what I have seen, her acting is in the good enough category, but it is pretty clear that Surya outshines her in this department. Both main characters are enjoyable to watch in this film. What really amazes me about this film is the side characters. Some of them are cookie cutter and 2 dimensional, but a few of the main supporting ones like Prabhu and Jagan actually act well enough that you can like their characters. That’s all I have to say in this department.

While there are many good performances, some of the 2D side characters and Tamannaah’s acting reduce the score a bit.

Score: 7.5 / 10

Music

There are memorable, catchy tunes in this song. The melody piece is also a nice tune and good to listen to. Once again, Harris Jeyaraj proves his mettle as a music composer. The music videos themselves vary. Some of them are solid with good shots and costumes. Some of them hit their mark. Again some of the transitions into the music segments and back are well done. Some of them are completely jarring. Bonus points also go in this department to the fact that several of the music videos actually contributed to the story and characters instead of being completely detached in remote lands.

Score: 8 / 10

Cinematography

Was it good? Yes.

Was it memorable? No.

The cinematography was good, but definitely not something I will remember years from now. The locations they used for a lot of the film are done well. The action sequences have good angles, no shaky cameras and you can clearly see what was going on. So at this point, so far so good. However, some problems are present. Why is Congo portrayed with a perpetual tint that causes it to lose a bunch of its colour? I know that world perception of that country is not great, but seriously, why must the editors make it look like it is some depressing wasteland to live in. I was definitely not a big fan of that. The car chases also showed problems. It was very obvious that the camera footage was sped up quite a bit to make it look like the fast moving car chases. That works well in straight lines, but when the cars are zig zagging and executing sharp turns, it looks totally cartoonish and shatters the standard set up by the foot and fight scenes. These parts almost ruined the movie for me to be honest.

Score: 6.5 / 10

Plot

The plot suffered pacing problems. The first hour felt far too slowly paced and there was no real villain during that first hour. The fact that it took them a whole hour to develop the film’s antagonist is kind of ridiculous. They could have shorted this film by a good 30-45 minutes if they took out a bunch of extraneous sequences. Did the antagonist really need an hour to develop? Nope, the plot made it fairly clear in the beginning where the antagonist was going. The writer could have just sped up the pace a bit, and we could have gotten a more leaner movie out of it. The movie also walked a very fine line between violent retribution and a more peaceful revenge. The moments where some of the supporting characters died looked like it could be moments where the movie would spiral into the common trope of violent retribution that many Tamil action films devolve into (cough Vijay cough). Thankfully, Prahbu’s supporting character kept it from devolving into violence until the end. I was impressed by how they focused a good chunk of the revenge on a less violent path where they used Surya’s skills to seize drug shipments that the antagonist was importing into India. But again, it was a tight line and at moments, it felt like the film could fall off the line towards the violent retribution path. I’m glad that except for the end, the film continued to walk that line. It is refreshing to see Tamil action films not devolve into the protagonist barging into the antagonist’s stronghold and proceeding to cut his henchmen up. The film ended on a happy note which always gets bonus points for me. Overall, the plot is good enough that you will enjoy the movie, but is certainly not astounding enough for it to be getting critical acclaim.

Score: 7 / 10

Overall Score: 7.25 / 10

Ayan is a solid film that will keep your entertained without feeling like you wasted your time at the end of it.