Mirugaa Movie Review: An interesting idea that fails to become anything more
Predictable screenplay, poor execution, budgetary limitations and unfeasible VFX technology hinder this serial killer film
Could-have-beens always hurt more than complete failures. Mirugaa is a film that boasts tremendous potential, but fails to capitalise on it. Srikanth plays John/Aravind, a serial killer who hunts rich, single women before looting their money. In one such endeavour, Subadhra (Vaishnavi Chandran), a neighbour, witnesses his heinous crime and begins to blackmail him with a video recording. Subadhra coerces Aravind into infiltrating her sister Lakshmi’s (Raai Laxmi) estate, to extort money, before killing Lakshmi and her family. However, upon realising how rich Lakshmi is, Aravind concocts a new plan. This makes up the intriguing plotline of the film.
Oh, and there’s a tiger. See how out of place that sounds? This is the biggest problem with the film. The story brings in a man-eating tiger that resides in the forest where Lakshmi’s estate is located. To gain brownie points with Lakshmi, Aravind sets up electric fences, security cameras and cages, to prevent further loss of human life and to catch the tiger. However, we don’t get to see anything more about the tiger till the third act. On paper, the inclusion of such an element in a serial killer film seems cool and interesting. In fact, there are metaphors in dialogues, visuals, and sound design that compare the monstrosity of the serial killer with that of the wild beast. Yet, the film doesn’t capitalise on this and loses track of this ‘animal’ storyline.
This makes the story somewhat predictable. You wouldn’t bring in an expensive element like a VFX tiger unless it proves vital in the final act. And that’s exactly what happens. Eventually, Lakshmi, her younger sister (Naira Shah) and her daughter get trapped in a house with the tiger. At first, it seems to hint at a climax that redeems all the film's flaws, however, the 20-minute or so climax becomes an infuriating cat-and-mouse game between the tiger and the characters, that gets repeated again and again.
Director: J Parthiban
Cast: Srikanth, Raai Laxmi, Dev Gill
The film even dumbs down the already funny-looking VFX tiger. Even at a rather serious moment, the tiger feels like something out of Tom & Jerry. At a time when films like Jallikattu are turning heads, Mirugaa loses out on opportunities to score big likely due to the budgetary limitations and/or the unfeasibility of advanced VFX technology.
Towards the end, the characters in the film eventually find out that the evil, wicked Aravind is not who he claims to be, and they do that by matching some dots. Here, there’s a loose religious sub-text, and J Parthiban seems to be imposing some kind of religious prejudice here that feels very out of place.
The negatives in the storytelling even eat away the positives that Arul Dev’s background music brings in. And while it is good to see a familiar actor like Srikanth back on screen, the same cannot be said for his performance. The actor, who up until the second act seems convincing, loses it all from thereon. Raai Laxmi is the only saving grace and her performance, especially in the climax, is very effective.
In the end, Mirugaa leaves you with little or no impact. However, you may tend to reminisce about the interesting premise it had set up initially. Could-have-beens not only hurt, they sometimes leave a mark.