Ajith who went off the radar in his last 'Aegan', is back fit and fine in 'Asal'. And perhaps to compensate the 'Aegan' disappointment, he hogs all the limelight giving audience a double delight in the movie.
Though the story is not new, it is all about style and substance and the film is loaded with rich visuals and breathtaking sequences, making it a quality outing.
When a hit pair comes together, the expectations always bound to be high. So when Ajith and director Saran, who have back to back successes under their belt ('Kadhal Mannan', 'Amarkkalam' and 'Attagasam') joined hands for 'Asal', there was an air of expectancy.
'Asal' not just rises up to that level, but also good in its own way especially because Ajith is energetic and Saran efficient. Their good vibes are evident on screen.
Sivaji Productions deserves all credit, for at a time when the film industry is facing some troubled times, a production house going all guns without anything in mind but to come out with a quality product, deserves applause.
Unlike their earlier outings, Saran and Ajith have consciously chosen not to load the movie with mass hero matters and commercial elements alone. The intelligence in 'Asal' lies in giving them in the under current as the story flows. At the same time, the film has not disappointed 'Thala' fans too as they have moments to rejoice in cinema halls.
Yuhi Sethu, who is known as a taut screenplay writer, has ensured that the script has no loose ends and there is no logical lapse. Of course, with Ajith's name as co-director, it makes one sit up and watch. The actor seems to have involved himself in the filmmaking department knowing his strength and the taste of his ardent-fans.
Jeevanathan (Ajith) is an arms dealer in France who supplies artillery only to the government. His sons are Sam (Sampath Raj), Prasad (Rajeev Krishna) and Shiva (Ajith). Sam and Prasad sideline Shiva all the time.
When the elder sons decide to strike a deal to sell weapons to a terror group, trouble breaks out. In spite of their father's resistance, they go ahead with their plans with the help of their uncle (Milind). Crossing swords with them is a Mumbai-based group led by Shetty (Kelly Dorji).
What starts from here is a battle between brothers, besides their war with the competitors. The swiftness in the screenplay begins here. It is from here the movie takes a roller-coaster ride.
There is Sara (Sameera Reddy), who works in French Embassy and falls for Ajith. The scene-stealer here is Sulabha (Bhavana). Her scenes especially on Valentine's Day is rip-roaring fun. Meanwhile there is Daniel Dharmaraj (Suresh) a French cop who adds twist to the tale.
Though influence of Hollywood movies like 'Payback' could not be avoided especially in the second half, one can forget the fact since 'Asal' is a rich attempt that is bright and beautiful. The conviction in narration and character establishment (except that of villains) is praiseworthy. Yuhi Sethu as Don Samosa provides lighter moment in the movie.
It's Ajith's aura all through. He brings all the necessary tricks involved to make the double role look different and also appeal to the masses. As father, he is stylish and elegant. As the son, he is committed. Though the former comes for just 15 minutes on screen, he walks away with all applause. Ajith is willing and efficient. He has a raw passion and comes out shining in the double role. He has the right nuances to differentiate the two characters. After a brief gap, one could see the actor fresh and fine in dance sequences too. He carries the story on his broad shoulders. The film’s success is mainly due to him. If 'Billa' showed him oozing all stylish, 'Asal' showcases him on roles with style and substance.
Sameera Reddy is chirpy and vivacious. Happy that Kollywood has an actress who combines glamour with performance. It's a welcome break for Bhavana. The actress understanding the responsibility on her seems to have taken the role in her stride and renders enough justice to it.
As usual, Prabhu (who is the producer too) has been breezy and impressive on his part, while the rest of the cast do have a part to play in the script.
Prashanth D Mishalae, a former associate of Nirav Shah, is simply the man of the moment. His lens has given the whole movie a fresh coat. Stylish and suave all through, the cinematography sets up the momentum. Especially those sequences in France with different tone and colour, is a revelation to Tamil cinema.
Movies on underworld or those about a don do always have some breathtaking stunt sequences and so does ‘Asal’. The stunt choreographers including William Ong, Kanal Kannan, Thalapathi Dinesh, Patrick Bruneton have done justice to opportunities provided to them.
Bharadwaj seems to have repeated the magic (if you are ready to forget the background score). The songs are pleasant to listen to. Watch out for 'Em Thandhai...' and 'Tottadoing...', they rock in the theatres.
To sum it up, Ajith, Saran and Bharadwaj have the struck the right chord again- for 'Asal' in an unpretentious entertainer. Apart from the storyline, everything seems to be original here.