Bogan – A mediocre thriller with predictable twists, saved by the Villain (almost!)
Movie Review by Trijai Nerthi (Rocheston Certified Movie Critic)
The Tamil Film Industry swears by the phrase, “If Something Works, Don’t Change It!” That’s why it is no surprise that after their gleaming success in Thani Oruvan, Bogan decided to bring together the duo of the hour, Arvind Swamy, and Jayam Ravi. Did the duo bring their trademark magic to this film as well? Well, that’s an entirely different story.
The opening scene gives us a glimpse into the mind of the power hungry, drug mongering, philandering prince Adithya (Arvind Swamy), who lies buried beneath more than a dozen blondes and brunettes, whores who are at his service day and night. Just as we get up close and personal with his villainous side, the narrative jumps to a pep song that is a poorly executed tribute to iconic heroes from the film industry.
Vikram (Jayam Ravi), in his green shirt and pink lungi, dances to a flashy song as women around him mouth the punch lines of silver screen legends. How do they justify this abrupt and distracting song? Well, this is an undercover mission led by the assistant commissioner Vikram, of course!
Just as you recover from the song, another introduction is thrown at you. This time, Mahalakshmi (Hansika Motwani) is seen buying alcohol from a local tasmac. But don’t worry, as mainstream narratives would have it, she is presumed to be modern Mahalakshmi, reclaiming her throne as the quintessential Tamil Ponnu. She does so by insisting that she has her reasons for this uncouth behavior, promising that it will be her first and last time.
We are met with another cliché when the hero Vikram takes Mahalakshmi’s love instead of wasting his time in winning her over. What follows is a forgettable, forward-able love track. It is another thirty minutes before we see the captivating Adithya again.
Arvind Swamy, cast as the obsessive Casanova-meets-money hungry scrooge, is the saving grace of this otherwise predictable thriller. His body language, engaging dialogue delivery and ability to throw a powerful pitch is very impressive. Not only does he bring his own brand of swagger, he owns it and lives with it. On the other hand, Jayam Ravi’s earnest palette of emotions is quite repetitive. Hansika’s role, or the lack of it, just underlines the stereotyping and objectification that mainstream actresses face today.
As much as the background score tries, it fails to make up for the revealing loopholes in Lakshman’s screenplay. The songs are run of the mill, and the editing falls short of creating a racy pace, all of which further indicates the flaws in of the film.
From the afterthought of an ending to the questionable significance of the scriptures, the narrative is dismissive of many details. The characters lack depth and get too caught up in their struggle to be black and white. Allowing for a gray area instead would have brought depth to the character development.
Refraining from picturesque and distracting songs, drawing a limit on the body-swapping overdo in the climax, giving more depth to characters and doing away with the love track all would have made this thriller far more engaging.
Overall, Bogan is a mediocre thriller with predictable twists; a film that engages in parts only thanks to its alluring villain.