#MasterBlockbuster or #MasterDisaster? Master, the new Pongal release of 2021 is seeing wildly mixed reactions from fans on social media. The Lokesh Kanagaraj directorial came to theatres, battling COVID-19 complications and theatre occupancy controversies, to reach to the big screens. Coming straight after the critical and commercial success of Kaithi, Kanagaraj was expected to deliver a special entertainer with Thalapathy. What we got was a film that might please the fans of the superstar, but is nowhere the special treat that we expected from the filmmaker. Master Movie Review: Thalapathy Vijay and Vijay Sethupathi Take Their Sweet Time To Come to Blows in Lokesh Kanagaraj’s Tiresome Entertainer.

I am not even sure that if Thalapathy fans would be completely pleased with Master. Sure, the superstar is on a rocking form, and has enough mass scenes, stunts and dialogues. But he gets easily upstaged by Vijay Sethupathi, who plays the main antagonist. As the gangster Bhavani, Sethupathi often gets the best lines and makes every appearance of his in the movie stand out with his amazing performance. Apart from Sethupathi's stealing act and Thalapathy's mass moments (also Anirudh's fantastic score), Master stumbles through and through as it reaches its overlong climax.

While we have already covered our thoughts in our detailed review, let's look at seven flaws that make Master a just about average entertainer.

The Meandering Plot

Thalapathy Vijay in Master

While Master has yet another social cause - maltreatment at juvenile homes - in its heart, a favourite trope with superstar movies, it doesn't exactly concentrate on that. At least in the first half, where the film is set in a normal college and wastes enough of our patience only to build on the lead character's popularity. Which leads us to...

Overlong and Overblown

Thalapathy Vijay in Master

Master is nearly three hours long, but doesn't have enough substance to hold our patience. After the initial 15 minutes that do a good job of telling the villain's backstory, Master then spends the next 20 minutes and more only to build the lead actor's charisma and popularity. It takes nearly an hour for him to get into the main premise, and then 20 minutes more just to have his first interaction with the villain. We thought the second half would fare better, alas, that's even more stretched out. In times of COVID-19, releasing films with such a long duration and keeping fans in theatres feels a little irresponsible when there was plenty of editing opportunities to be done.

Catering Purely to Thalapathy's Image

Thalapathy Vijay in Master

Supporters of Master might say that Kanagaraj has tried to present Thalapathy Vijay differently, and I would agree with them. For about 10%. Some of his trademark mannerisms are presented with tweaks. Like his stylish walk is shown to be because JD is always drunk, and that's also the reason why he wears shades, so as to not show that he is always hungover. JD is also presented as a flawed protagonist, who works through his inadequacies with the utmost ease, like his alcoholism. But I also feel that these tweaks are mere distractions from the fact that this is just another Vijay entertainer, made to suit his superstar image. The action scenes sees low stakes for him, and he is shown changing people's mindsets with just one speech. Moreover, once again, Vijay hints at his political aspirations in Master. Come on, sir, it is time that you announce that you are entering politics! Just hoping that you won't take a U-turn as Thalaiva! Master: Fans Overcrowd Cinema Halls for Thalapathy Vijay, Vijay Sethupathi Movie Despite COVID-19 Pandemic.

Needed More Vijay-Vijay Combo Scenes

Vijay Sethupathi and Thalapathy Vijay in Master

The most exciting factor about Master was to see Vijay clash with Vijay, two much-loved superstars throwing quips and blows at each other. But in the film's 178-minute runtime, we only have four scenes of this combo, out of which, in two scenes they only interact on phone. The first time they come across each other, when JD fails to recognise Bhavani is truly a highlight, but Master needed more such scenes. Instead, we got a Batman v Superman kinda disappointment, didn't we?

Wasted Supporting Cast

Malavika Mohanan and Thalapathy Vijay in Master

One of the great things about Kaithi is how well it uses its supporting cast. In Master, it is the other way round. With majority of the screentime dedicated to Thalapathy Vijay, and then some to Vijay Sethupathi, the rest of the players hardly get any scope. Malavika Mohanan is just a PYT we regularly see in a Thalapathy film. Shanthanu Bhagyaraj and Andrea Jeremiah are utterly wasted. Arjun Das leave some mark as the villain's minion, but his character is poorly-written. Nasser just has a cameo.

The Action Scenes in the Climax

Thalapathy Vijay in Master

Some of the action scenes in Master are well-shot, but I was very disappointed with what I got to see in the big finale. JD turning Hawkeye in a ludicrous chase sequence is poorly done, not helped by obvious green-screen, dody stunts and Andrea's needless presence. The fight sequence between both the Vijay's that follow is interesting, with each actor delivering to the scene. Then the movie throws a needless, distracting idea to have Thalapathy go the Salman Khan route, that is, to go 'shirtless', without the needed brawn the pull that scene off, the way Khan does.

Lacks The Brilliance We Saw in Kaithi

Karthi in Kaithi

More than Master being a Thalapathy Vijay-Vijay Sethupathi combo film, I was more excited because it was made by the man who also helmed Kaithi. Kaithi, in my opinion, is one of the best thrillers made in the last five years, that is both smart, arresting and massy. I also share the same opinion about the director's first film, MaanagaramMaster, on the other hand, doesn't really feel more a Thalapathy film than a Kanagaraj movie, and that we have already seen that in plenty. Like, Master suffers from the same syndrome as Petta or Massu, talented filmmakers working with superstars and then end up making inferior films.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jan 13, 2021 09:53 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website latestly.com).