Iru Mugan: ‘Love’ without ‘Speed’

  • Nithya Menen and Vikram in a still from the film
  • Vikram in a still from the film
  • Vikram and Nayanthara in a still from the film

The sci-fi action thriller makes 'Chiyaan' Vikram’s fans fall in love with ‘Love’, but fails to sustain the love. Vikram, in his dual role as a R&AW (Research and Analysis Wing) officer named Akhilan and the cross-dressing villain called Love, takes the film forward with his action-packed performance.

The film opens in Malaysia. Akhilan, who is on suspension, is called back by his boss Malik (Nasser) to nail ‘Love’, a crazy scientist. Akhilan, along with his wife Meera George (Nayanthara), had exposed the latter's drug business. Whether Akhilan, assisted by a trainee agent (Nithya Menen), succeeds in his task, what happens to Love, and what if Meera comes back to life, forms the rest of the plot.

Iru Mugan has a racy first half but loses all its charm in the second. But the adrenaline pumping scenes don't work, as an illogical script lets the film down. The drug 'Speed' invented by Love can turn an ordinary man into a superhuman. And Akhilan’s job is to ensure that the drug does not fall in the wrong hands.

Vikram portrays both the characters with élan, especially Love—be it the signature whistling and dialogues or when he picks up a phone in a showroom or when he walks into an hospital to meet the Malaysian minister. Vikram’s stylish beard for Akhilan and the straight greyish-black hair for Love separates the characters well.

Nayanthara’s charm keeps the audience enthralled even when the story is on a downward spiral. Nithya, unfortunately, does not get enough screen time to make an impact.

From the Indian Embassy in Malaysia to the R&AW office in Delhi and back to Malaysia and Kashmir, R.D. Rajasekhar’s camera captures the locales brilliantly.

The action sequences, like the one on an overbridge in Malaysia, choreographed by Ravi Varma and Anbu are breath-taking. Harris Jayaraj’s background score and the opening song Halena are the bright spots in the music department.

Film: Iru Mugan
Language: Tamil
Director: Anand Shankar
Cast: Vikram, Nayanthara, Nithya Menen and Nasser
Rating: 3/5


Interview/ Anand Shankar

Director Anand Shankar seems to have invested a lot of time and effort in researching about Speed and the science behind the drug. “The script was written with Vikram in mind. I like the way he delivered both the characters,” sais Shankar in conversation with THE WEEK. “But I really enjoyed scripting the character, Love.” Excerpts:


How did you come up with the character, Love?

I loved writing the script. I could explore a lot of new scenes with Vikram through this character. Usually, creating a character is not so much fun. But, Vikram’s performance and action stand out. It is a tailor-made Vikram film. His action and performance would reflect throughout the film. I wanted to make him utilise his full potential. And he has done it. People appreciate both the characters and the way Vikram has carried himself throughout the film.

Don’t you think that the story is not strong enough?

There is a level to which the story can take the film forward. The depth in the story is definitely there, but the strong characters outshine the story. It has to be either a simple storyline with strong characters or the treatment has to be different. I wanted to work not on the story but on the treatment. I like the pre-interval sequence, the action sequences, which are more impactful.

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