Mr.Local review: Not a satisfying entertainer
Ever since director Rajesh made his debut with his directorial film Siva Manasula Sakthi, he has been known for his comedy films which guarantee laughter. However, the fate of his films wasn’t certain after damp squibs such as All in All Azhagu Raja, Vasuvum Saravananum Onna Padichavanga and Kadavul Irukaan Kumaru. His recent film Mr. Local starring Sivakarthikeyan in the lead is likely to be a part of this completely disappointing list.
The film tells the story of a happy-go-lucky Manohar (Sivakarthikeyan) take on the arrogant Keerthana (Nayanthara). That’s about it! The film’s story should have made interesting cat-and-mouse chance sequence between the two or it should have shown us how the two take on each other in an interesting matter. Siva Manasule Shakti did that in a humorous way and that what worked best for the film’s success. Mr. Local does nothing like it! Sivakarthikeyan keeps challenging Nayanthara, while she puts up an angry face listening to him. The maximum she does is send goons to attack him! Yawn, how original!
Mr. Local seems like a story made up from the scrapped from the 1992 Rajinikanth film Mannan. The arrogant woman-meets-the simple and humble guy, he falls for her, while she finds means to take revenge, the mother intervenes, the woman fakes her love for him, and in the end, the simple guy (the superhero) saves her from her business partner/future husband — and voila! She falls in love!
Mr. Local doesn’t have the charm, the spontaneity of his previous films, neither does it deliver any decent jokes. The film goes on to show boring punch lines and one-liners, that will make you laugh for the heck of it. And that isn’t the worst part of the film. Mr. Local puts up some cringe-worthy content that makes us question the writer’s understanding of a sensitive topic. Take for instance the part where a trans-man confesses to a sex-change operation only to ask his potential date to spend the night with him to see ‘his power’. The film even makes fun of the transman’s lady-like voice. I am not sure how people of the trans community are going to feel about this since the film makes him an object for laughs. There are other jokes about Yogi Babu’s looks.
While Sivakarthikeyan and Nayanthara’s chemistry is perfect, there’s nothing much to admire about the characters. Sivakarthikeyan plays a role he’s played several times, and he does so effortlessly. Nayanthara’s character doesn’t have enough layering, so she ends up huffing and puffing in her saloon-ready look in almost many scenes in the film. She looks super perfect while being stormed into the operation theatre wearing those 3-something-inch high heels! Radhika plays the doting mother and does a fine job with her performance, while Yogi Babu, Satish, and Robo Shankar all vanish as the film progresses.
But I don’t think the film ever progressed as I found it long and never-ending!