Director Atlee teams up with Vijay for the third time for an action film. This time, the message is women empowerment with sports at the heart of the story.
Michael Rayappan (Vijay) aka Bigil, a talented footballer, is the son of don Rayappan (Vijay, again). Michael can’t pursue his dream of becoming a footballer because of a personal tragedy. Seven years later, he grabs an opportunity to coach an underprivileged women’s football team. How he leads the team to a national-level victory is the rest of the story.
Atlee knows how to deliver his message through commercial cinema. Here, he shows how women, despite several hurdles, follow their passion. But ‘Bigil’ completely misses the point about empowerment by making a hero saving the day at all times.
It is puzzling why Atlee makes Vijay play multiple roles. The idea of the star being the ultimate saviour works with his fans, but it surely gets monotonous.
‘Bigil’ has a predictable climax, which makes it difficult for the audience to stay put for three hours.
Vijay has a good screen presence and he is charming and funny. He is convincing as an athlete and better as the older Rayappan, with a coarse voice and stammer.
Nayanthara plays Angel, Michael’s love interest and sidekick. Her presence is forced, and the movie could have done without her.
Jackie Shroff as the antagonist is good, but his Tamil lip-sync could have been better. Comedians Yogi Babu and Vivek play supporting characters; Yogi’s comic flow is more natural than Vivek’s. Indhuja, Reba Monica John, Varsha Bollamma, Amritha Aiyer, Indraja Shankar and others play their footballer parts well.
The music by A R Rahman is a hit, but offers nothing fresh. In conclusion, Atlee’s ‘Bigil’ is half ‘Thalaivaa’ and half ‘Chak De! India’ with a few tweaks.