All style No content
U/A, 2h 3m
Guru, also known as Gurunath (Gautham Vasudev Menon), saves Michael (Sundeep Kishan) as a child and raises him as one of his men. He turns out to be his most expensive asset, as gangster work comes naturally to him. This does not go well with Amarnadh (Varun Sandesh), who is always sidelined.
When Guru is attacked one day, Michael must find the people behind it. Who are the attackers? The real reason for Michael’s growth in ranks is at the heart of the film.
Sundeep Kishan plays a rising gangster in the film. He’s gone with a clean, chiseled body look for the same. Unfortunately, while the physical effort is significant, it doesn’t help him solve the script-level problems.
The character is too heavy for a young hero like Sundeep Kishan. This lacks the depth and heaviness necessary to make the increases credible. There’s the body, but the body language needed to play an epic role is missing. The effort is there, and one has to appreciate it, but it’s not enough for the part.
Divyansha Kaushik is fine. She is lucky enough to get a role that is integral to the story and also requires a certain kind of screen presence. Divyansha is passable at it but again fails to go to the next level to make it memorable.
Ranjit Jeyakodi directs Michael. It is a gangster action drama set in the 1990s. The background and the casting make the film exciting.
The movie starts off promising. The images amaze us, just like the making and the setting. However, as we get into the core story, the problems with the film become apparent.
The basic plot of Michael is an age-old gangster drama. Don has two rising gangsters under him, one of which is his son. The usual jealousy trail and the heroic act on the other side leading to the conflict are done to death in space. We have seen it many times before and images are not enough to overcome it.
Even the interval bang twist can be seen for miles. It is nothing new, and the makers also seem to realize it, but instead of refreshing the content, they also do the same in terms of form. So we have classy-looking packaging, but the contents inside are the same old clichés for gangster dramas.
Still, people are looking forward to the second half, especially because of the casting. The prospects of seeing Vijay Sethupathi, Varalaxmi Sarahkumar etc. make it possible. But even they fail to boost the procedure. The block with them is boring and lacks impact. In fact, it is the same everywhere.
It all starts with the director trying his best to make us buy Sundeep Kishan as the dreaded gangster. It never happens, and the heights fall flat because he’s not there yet in terms of screen age and persona. The character feels too big for him.
The ending therefore seems to fit perfectly, even if it is very routine. It shows Michael for who he really is and not how he is portrayed. But by that time, people lost interest long ago. It’s one thing to set a story in the 1990s, but another to redo a story from that era without any upgrade.
All in all, Michael is the definition of style without substance. It goes on and on, exploring a predictable gangster drama story that offers nothing but slick visuals. If you like the genre, give it a try for the fantastic technical work, and that’s it.
Performances by other actors
Michael is filled with many familiar faces playing supporting roles. Vijay Septhupathi, Varun Sandesh, Gautam Vasudev Menon, Varalaxmi Sarathkumar and Anasuya immediately come to mind. And there are more.
The great screen presence of Vijay Sethupathi is used here. But with a hollow character, he can only do so much. Dragging in his block further dents the actor’s role. He is paired with Varalaxmi Sarathkumar, who has a forgettable role. Anasuya can also be seen in an important but poorly etched role.
The actors getting meaty roles are Varun Sandesh and Gautham Vasudev Menon. The first appears after a long hiatus in a big movie and plays an important role. The retro look and everything is well designed, and Varun Sandesh does a good job in small dramatic moments. However, when required to show fierceness or aggression, the actor goes overboard and exaggerates the required emotion. It exposes the weakness.
And finally, the real hero of the movie is Gautham Vasudev Menon. His character, presence and maturity feel bigger than the protagonist and are well done. Gautham Menon owns and lives the role, intermittently making one interested in the proceedings. The rest of the cast is okay.
Music and other departments?
Sam CS’s music is good, but he underperforms with the background music. It enhances the overall appeal and atmosphere of the film. Technically, the film is slick, and none other than cinematographer Kiran Koushik’s work emphasizes it. The production values are also good. However, R Sathyanarayanan’s editing could have been better. The film needs to be tighter. Writing is part of the course.
BGM, in parts
Predictable and old storyline
Lack of content
Did I enjoy it?
Very few parts
Will you recommend it?
Yes, but with huge reservations
Michael comes up with visibly excellent technical work. However, it falters where it matters most: the story. It comes across as an age-old dragging endlessly with a classy packaging.
Report first half year:
Michael has an exciting 90s background and great visuals backed up by brilliant BGM moments. But the core element of “story” lacks similar impact and leaves a lot to be desired. A lot now depends on the second half to see if things go better.
— Michael leaves in the background in the mid-90s. Michael’s crime and elevation is established.
Stay tuned for Michael Review, US Premiere report coming soon.
Form – Sundeep Kishan, Vijay Sethupathi, Divyansha Kaushik, Gautham Menon, Varun Sandesh, Ayyappa Sharma, Anasuya, Varalaxmi Sarathkumar
Banner – Karan C Productions LLP & Sree Venkateswara Cinemas LLP
Producer Name – Bharath Chowdary / Puskur Ram Mohan Rao
Story, Screenplay, Director – Ranjit Jeyakodi
Music Director – Sam CS
DOP – Kiran Kaushik
Dialogues – Kalyana Chakravarthy Tripuraneni
Editor – R. Sathyanarayanan
ART – Gandhi Nadikudikar
Stunts – Dinesh Kasi
Music composed, arranged and programmed by – SAM CS