Vishal-Arya Faceoff In Enemy Is Paisewasool
Starring Vishal, Arya, Mirnalini Ravi, Mamta Mohandas, and Prakash Raj
Written & Directed by Anand Shankar
Rating: *** ½
Enemy Movie Review: It seems you can’t step out on the streets of Singapore without bumping into Tamilians. In Enemy Vishal Krishnan forever in pursuit of new roles, looks after his father’s grocery store during the day and moonlights as a high-profile Robin Hood-Sonu Sood, rescuing wailing migrants(who shriek for their passports like children denied their favourite cartoon show) from despotic bosses, hacking the computer to get make examinations easy for damsels in distress, sliding down skyscrapers and crashing through glass walls, a la Dwayne Johnson in Skyscrapers , to get even with odd adversaries.
Arya, that super-player in that super-boxing film Sarpatta Parambarai, is the odd adversary. You wish there was more face-offs between the two actors.
You wish there wasn’t so much paraphernalia in the plot. Some of the fringe actors are so loud they seem to be shouting for attention in a film that doesn’t need them. The actor who plays Vishal’s father(Thambi Ramaiah) just goes on and on with his overacting. Even his death sequence is a preordained soap opera. He is exhausting.
When the film loses its extra baggage , it is truckload of fun. The childhood portion of the two protagonists’ lives has a solid anchor in Prakash Raj who plays an ex-cop training the teens to be khaki soldiers. Things don’t go as per plan. When do they ever! There is a shocking patricidal twist in the plot which could have been examined more sensitively.
How does it feel when another child from the outside is showered with the attention that is rightfully yours? No wonder Arya’s Rajeev grows up so messed up. Regrettably writer-director Anand Shankar doesn’t allow Rajeev’s character to grow organically into vile villainy. As with most Hindi films on anti-heroes, we are given explanations for why Rajeev has turned out the way he is.
Not that we care about the convulsions of reasoning that the plot ties itself up into. Arya is the kind of easygoing actor who looks convincing as a grey character even without the support of the script. One has to wait till the end of this lengthy film for the two heroes to come face-to-face. But when they do the frames explode with ecstatic energy.
A lot of what has gone into Enemy is corny, even outdated. But the story holds together because the two principal actors are in the mood to swerve into action regardless of the room provided by the narrative. The supporting cast could have been far less melodramatic. By the way, not a cop to be seen in the length and breadth of Singapore.
Yeh sudhar gaye ya mahaul?Enemy has long stretches of striking action. Full marks for the flair displayed in the fireworks. If only the drama worked as effectively as the stunts.