2 Hr 31 Mins | Action | 15-09-2023
Cast - Vishal, SJ Suryah, Sunil, Selvaraghavan, Ritu Varma, Abhinaya and others
Director - Adhik Ravichandran
Producer - S. Vinod Kumar
Banner - Mini Studios
Music - G.V. Prakash Kumar
Vishal and SJ Suryah join the forces for a time-travel gangster drama laced with fun, ‘Mark Antony’. Directed by Adhik Ravichandran, the film’s trailer raises the curiosity. Will Vishal and SJ Suryah combine to deliver and will this end Vishal’s jinx in the T-town? Let’s find out.
What is it about?
Mark (Vishal) runs a mechanic garage and fondly calls don Jackie Marthanda (SJ Suryah) as ‘Nanna’. Mark hates his late father Antony (Vishal) who killed his mother. Mark accidentally finds a time-travel telephone in an old car that allows him to speak to people in the past, but it has its own limitations such as one phone call per day for a said date. Mark finds facts about his father Antony (Vishal). This reveals the true-identity of friend Jackie (SJ Suryah) and the past. It is Mark Vs Madan and Antony Vs Jackie. The rest of the story is about how Mark settles his scores and what all that comes his way?
SJ Suryah has breathed life into the character of Jackie. He shines and shows his dominance in the dual role as father and son. The voice modulation of father Jackie Marthanda is terrific. Vishal also essayed the dual role of father and son Mark and Antony. He pulled off the characters well. But it is the father role Antony that is a notch higher. The senior characters of both Suryah and Vishal carry the film. Selvaraghavan plays scientist Chiranjeevi who invents the time-travel telephone and notes down rules in his dairy. Sunil as Ekambaram starts well, but his role wanes. Abhinaya gets a limited role as Antony’s wife and Mark’s mother, but she leaves her mark. Ritu Varma as Ramya is alright. Nizhalgari Ravi is Sivaram, Antony’s advocate who turns the story. All the actors have performed well in this science-fiction gangster drama.
Adhik Ravichandran took a simple and routine gangster drama and imbibed a science-fiction theme involving time-travel telephone. This gives the much-needed spin for the film. Story may be predictable, but it is the racy and tight screenplay that makes the proceedings interesting and engaging. GV Prakash, who failed in the songs, balanced it with a thumping background score. Action blocks are well conceived. Production design deserves a pat on the back. The film gets the period backdrop right as the eras of 1975 and 1995. The transportation to these eras holds well.
SJ Suryah & Vishal’s Performances
Time-Travel Theme & Fun
Villain Lacks Strength
The name, Mark Antony, is quite familiar to movie buffs. For the unversed, it is the name of the popular character in Rajinikanth’s cult movie ‘Basha’ (1995) where villain Raghuvaran plays the Antony role. This serves as a base for the gangster film. The total spin here comes from the science-fiction backdrop. The time-travel concept is the unique selling point for Adhik Ravichandran’s directorial. While it takes some time for the viewers to delve into the story and understand the proceedings.
The fun is weaved around the point. Though it sounds silly and logicless at many portions, the undercurrent humour holds well and hooks the audience. The rules applicable for the telephone are designed such that they suit the needs of the screenplay. This is where the director and his writing team’s flexibility and liberties get exposed.
The film has three major scoring points – one is the terrific performances of the lead cast, two is the tight screenplay the three is the transporting audience to a certain time by rightly creating the ‘World of Mark Antony’. The pre-interval sequence is one of the major highlights of the film which makes the proceedings even more interesting. The second-half has some recurrent elements that puts one off. The love story of the lead pair gets sidelined and ignored. But the film has a good dose of mass elements and retro moments perfectly dished for fans. The action sequences are choreographed flawlessly.
Mark Antony has its moments. Despite giving us a feeling of being loud and chaotic, it engages and entertains. The screenplay gets thumbs up in the first-half, but doesn’t live up to the same steam in the second-half. Dialogues are catchy and hard-hitting. The pre-interval sequence is intriguing. The second-half is where the film struggles. There are recurrent scenes.
The Silk Smitha scene is just a forced one. There are several such unwanted and filler scenes placed. The songs are not appealing. But GV Prakash compensated this with by delivering a compelling background score. The pre-climax and climax sequences are on the expected lines.
Mark Antony has a lot of scope to improve in terms of scenes and the film could have been way better. Yet it doesn’t disappoint either. It just banks on the time travel concept to entice the audience.
Verdict: Antony Without Mark!