Meanwhile, the real trouble lies in the trailer and the blatant depiction of violence and machismo that director Hari glorifies. The righteous hero is rough, someone who desperately needs to head to an anger management class. And his anger is apparently justified because he is the hero and is, therefore, given that entitlement. The nearly 2-minute trailer has Vikram punching every man on screen, flexing his muscles, giving the death stares with a golden gleam in his eyes, and going back to punching bad guys.
There are bits where the female lead Keerthy Suresh is shown, her dialogues drowned by the overwhelming background music, and the makers portraying her as a beautiful woman in Aarusaamy’s life. And whilst she’s in all her beauty and smiles, the hero doesn’t spare her! A slap on the cheek is shown in the trailer, as though it’s the most normal thing to do.
Their apparent age-difference, 27 years to be precise, is evident even though we watch a fitter Vikram in terrific shape. But nitpicking on their age difference would be futile considering it’s something that most film industries adhere to – the much older, evergreen man and the young heroine.
Perhaps the real disappointment in the trailer lies in the fact that someone like Keerthy Suresh, who wowed the audience and critics in the recently released Savitri biopic Mahanati, is playing a role that she has played many times before – a prop in the life of the charismatic hero. She’s beautiful, she’s stunning, she’s bubbly and vivacious, a bit childlike and looked at as someone who needs a macho man like Aarusaamy to tell her what to do. Something that we have seen Keerthy do in Rajini Murugan, Thodari, Bairavaa and Remo.
It’s the 21st century, at a time when we have female-lead films that manage to rake in huge money at the box office, and yet we still have movies that reduce women to nothing more than ‘pretty things’ where her character is only considered relevant because she’s the much-needed romantic angle in the hero’s life. Her beauty is of high significance and intelligence isn’t mandatory.
Haven’t filmmakers seen what Keerthy is capable of? Especially now that Mahanati has proved that the 25-year-old actress is at the top of her game, she is still offered roles where all she needs to is look pretty, pout and yearn for her demi-God of a hero. If well-written roles for women were a thing, it’d perhaps be the rarest of move in Tamil cinema. Sure, we have had commendably written roles for women like Aruvi, Mozhi, Irudhi Sutru etc, but it all still manages to get buried underneath the plethora of mediocre, lazily written ones where the female lead’s physical attributes supersede her capabilities and the sexism that the film reeks of gets normalised for many other filmmakers to follow suit.