In one of the high-octane sequences in Master, JD aka Master (Vijay) holds Bhavani (Vijay Sethupathi) captive without having a look at his face. He enquires about his arch nemesis without realising the fact that the same person is being held captive under him. The nail-biting outcome of the situation keeps the audience hooked on to their rivalry until the protagonist and antagonist finally have their ultimate showdown.
What's Yay: Thalapathy Vijay and Vijay Sethupathi's fiery screen presence, the energetic action sequences along with the wacky background score.
What's Nay: The predictability of the plot and the elongated screen time makes for some dull moments.
The plot revolves around Bhavani, a dreadful gangster making a juvenile correction facility his centre for all illegal activities. His own rough childhood makes him a sadistic criminal who uses the young boys at the juvenile facility to achieve his misdeeds. However, Master enters the scene to foil his plans. A free-spirited but carefree schoolteacher, Master gears up to lock horns with Bhavani after a tragic incident. What follows is a pumped up showdown between the two.
Kanagaraj fulfills the mammoth task of bringing in the fiery interplay between the two Tamil superstars in an impeccable manner. While Vijay's introduction is welcomed by a catchy background score, Sethupathi's terrifying demeanour is justified by some ruthless sequences bringing out the sadism.
However, Kanagaraj wins high with the epic showdown between the two Vijays, which makes way for an entertaining and energetic watch. The scenes depicting Master playing kabaddi to protect the kids at the correction facility or Bhavani settling scores with his enemies further set the pace of the plotline. The downhill of Master the film is that it gets predictable as it gets further. The plot becomes even more tedious, as the pace gets slower with some scenes which could've been edited out for good.
Vijay inevitably delivers some whistle worthy sequences, be it in his entry scene or in the one where he's all set to don his role of the 'Master'. His performance also includes some emotionally high moments wherein he brings out the right depth and intensity of the character. Sethupathi is the perfect balancing factor as the menacing Bhavani to Vijay's JD. Some of his scenes act as the main show stealer in the movie wherein Sethupathi depicts the frustration, terror and dreadfulness of his character with a minute subtlety. Malavika Mohanan as Chaarumathi has charming screen presence but does not have much room to perform. Her chemistry with Vijay could have been brought out in a more nuanced manner. Andrea Jeremiah as Vaanathi and Arjun Das as Das are convincing in their acts.
The cinematography by Sathyan Sooryan offers one of the plus points in Master. Some shots of the correctional facility add considerable depth to the characterisation and the plot. The action sequences score high in the way they are depicted and keep the adrenaline rushing. The editing could have been sharpened at some places in Master.
The music by Anirudh Ravichander plays a convincing catalyst to the plot in Master. The soundtracks like Kutti Story, Vaathi Coming and Andha Kanna are major plus points. The 'Beat of Master' background theme brings out the swag and energy of Vijay's JD.
Finally, Master makes way for a visual treat for the die-hard fans of Thalapathy Vijay and Vijay Sethupathi! Experience this one for the undeniable star power of the two Tamil megastars. We give Master 3 out of 5 stars.
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