Hate it or love it, you have never seen anything quite like Mark Antony
. No relation to Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar
; in fact I am sure none of the rowdies traversing three decades of this harum scarum
wild-party of a film, know anything about literature.
This is a remarkably kitschy concoction on time travel done up in splashy spoofy shades that are purposely exaggerated. The over-saturated frames with their plucky precocious periodicity became a bit too much to take.
In-your-face drama and tendency to be trippy and over-the-top are the guiding lights of this gaudy comedy-action film which moves in two time zones in 1975 and 1995, both featuring Vijay Krishna and his hammy co-star S J Suryah in stylized retro-posturing.
Both the eras are manned by a manic force. Director Adhik Ravichandran has an insatiable appetite for exclamation marks. Nobody behaves or speaks normally.The characters are so over-the-top, they appear to be products of a quirky cartoon strip rather than the products of a violent decade that they aspire to be.
The shootouts are deliberately stagey, with cabaret dancers rubbing shoulders with gangsters who have seen better days. The art director treats every frame like a school kid gone berserk in a painting class. We are, at any given time, subjected to a barrage of bouncy stunts and cheeky subversive dialogues that make all the violence seem like a fun-fest. The guns look fake and the goons seem to be spoofing the crime syndicate in a Ram Gopal Varma film.
The plot is a dizzying babel of disembodied visuals and voices . The mood swings from a homage to the super-agile potboilers of the 1980s to a wild satire on family dramas with two friends in two different decades discovering each other’s true colours.
This is The King Of Kotha in a free-for-all, with the logistics of a time-travel theme thrown to the winds. The performances are suitably stylized. Vishal Krishna brings a distinctive tonal difference to the father and son roles. He is seriously enthused in his mission to be true to the trippy tides of time.
But S J Suryah is unbearably exaggerated and cartoonish. With a more restrained co-star Vishal could have covered the satirical space with more grace. The rest of the supporting cast is surprisingly in-sync with the film’s zany mood. However the appearance of the legendary celluloid seductress Silk Smitha (played by Vishnu Priya Gandhi) in a double-decker bus, is pointless.
One could say the same about the film , and it wouldn’t feel remonstrated .
Mark Antony(Tamil, with English subtitles)
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