Agilan Review

PUBLISHED DATE : 11/Mar/2023

Agilan Review

Agilan Review 

Bharath Vijayakumar


The first notable thing about N Kalyanakrishnan’s Agilan is that it is a focused film. The plot that is set in and around a harbour, gets underway right from the first frame. What we have in the first half is how Agilan (Jayam Ravi), a crane operator cum henchman cum hero of the film, schemingly rises to become the ‘King of the Indian Ocean’. This is the tag given to someone who controls the movement of goods (legal and illegal) across the seas. Agilan has no rules and all that matters to him is to rise to the top of the ladder.


We have always had this one-man army kind of stories but post KGF, the similarities to that film are striking. The first half of Agilan too is ‘KGFesque’ in certain ways. Unlike the recent Michael which almost felt like a poor imitation of KGF, Agilan doesn’t literally borrow its style of execution from KGF but when you see a ruthless angry young man rocketing to the top leaving behind his bosses, you are bound to draw comparisons. But the issue in Agilan is that despite it being focussed, it is hardly interesting or exciting. Apart from the protagonist, none of the characters even register with you. Except the sequence leading up to the interval there is no real grip over the proceedings in the first half. Dubbing issues and performances from the non-Tamil speaking cast hurt the film badly. You hope that things would get better when the actual plot unravels in the second half.


Coming from someone who had made Bhooloham and who is from the school of the late S. P. Jananathan, it is rest assured that Agilan isn’t actually going to be about a bad guy rising to the top. The motive of the hero is revealed in the second half with a flashback that is crisp and neat. But once again like in the initial half, there are just fleeting moments that work. The climax seems to go on and on and for a film that runs for 2 hours and 15 minutes, the film seems too long. This despite the fact that there are no commercial deviations like comedy or romance. Again, the issue is that you are not really invested with what is happening on screen. So, the twists, reveal of motives and backstabs from key characters, each of these never elicit the kind of response that they ought to have. And the loud score actually puts you off at times. The theme of the film about how the system actually functions in a way that it is easier to smuggle goods than to help starving people across countries comes through a dialogue in the climax. But it is a question mark if this message would have been the takeaway from the film without this dialogue This is because despite spending over 2 hours in the harbour setting, we don’t really get a sense of how things work. Agilan ends up being neither a hero driven action film nor an information yielding message film.

 Jayam Ravi is earnest as always and tries to keep you invested. But there is very little support from the rest.




Agilan is focused but is neither interesting nor exciting. It is the message that should have been loud and clear, but sadly it is only the background score that is loud.

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