Mark Antony Review
In Adhik Ravichandran’s Mark Antony, Vishal and S.J.Suryah play gangster friends set in the year 1975. Their sons, played by the actors themselves are once again close buddies and the year is 1995. A time travel machine in the form of a telephone is what sets the ball rolling between these characters in what is called the ‘Mark Antony’ world.
Firstly, the quirkiness that was the USP of the trailer is definitely present in the film as well. Irrespective of whether the film works or not for you, it has got to be said that Adhik has created a convincing world where you buy into the crazy characters and their idiosyncrasies. The film is over the top but that is what it aspires to be and that is where it succeeds as well. Akin to Maanaadu, this is also a cat and mouse game between two principal characters but unlike Maanaadu, the stakes aren’t serious, and all that Adhik is going in for is some wild fun.
The first half of Mark Antony races ahead in fast forward mode. The rules of the game are defined at the earliest and then madness ensues. S.J. Suryah is the kind of actor who can make such a film work, or I even wonder if such films get made only because there is a S.J.Suryah who can make it work. The actor relishes such outlandish themes, and he has a ball in Mark Antony. What we call over the top is what that seems to come naturally to the actor, and he is fine form here. But the changes in dialogues during dubbing is quite evident at many places and that mars the impact. Was quite surprised by Vishal actually. This isn’t the kind of film or role that you would associate with him. And honestly, you wouldn’t call him the best fit either. But he is earnest in Mark Antony and gets into the madness without inhibitions. The others have little to do and what was with the roles of Kingsley and Y.G.Mahendran. The character and presentation of the latter is particularly distasteful. Was surprised when a yesteryear actress known for glamorous roles was referred to by her original name. She is even praised for her boldness. But the surprise is short lived as the intentions become clear very soon. There could be some justification as whatever dialogues you feel are inappropriate are spoken by the villain, but it is very evident that the intention is to get the audience hooting.
The movie was too loud for my liking (The sound system in the theatre could also be a reason). The songs in particular seemed like cacophony at times. The cat and mouse game also loses the novelty as the film moves towards the climax. It is only S.J.Suryah’s antics and one-liners that ensure you are attentive. With hardly any deviations, this is quite a focused film, but I hoped more jokes worked and that there were more surprises in the second half.
Mark Antony successfully translates (at least partially) the kind of vibe you got from its trailer onto the big screen. The quirkiness works most of the times and the film keeps it simple. Adhik deserves credit for building a convincing world. I surely would have liked more jokes to work and the decibel level to be several notches lower. But if watching S.J. Suryah go crazy along with a cheering and hooting crowd is what you need, then Mark Antony fits the bill!