Story: A young boy grows up with fire in his eyes and on a mission to get revenge. When he’s tasked with killing a girl he falls for, will he manage to do it?
Review: Director Ranjit Jeyakodi immediately draws you into Michael’s world. Red and gold tones dominate the screen, and some of the characters express their emotions more directly via their bodies than through words. Is the movie a traditional narrative of retribution? Yes. Does it go in a similar manner to other gangster dramas? Sure. Ranjit does enough to get you to care about these folks, though.
Goons looking for Michael beat a man named Swamy (Ayyappa Sharma) till he is covered in blood (Sundeep Kishan). The man starts telling the story of the main character instead of pleading for his life. Since he was a little child, Michael has always been a loner, preferring to use his fists or listen to music than having real conversations. Mumbai’s notorious gangster Guru (Gautham Vasudev Menon) is saved from death by a 13-year-old boy named Michael one lovely day. He is raised in the political and gun-filled environment alongside Guru’s wife Charulatha (Anasuya Bharadwaj) and son Amar (Varun Sandesh). Instead of executing Theera (Divyansha Kaushik), as ordered, he ends up falling for her. The following must be viewed on a screen.
Without giving too much away, I will only say that Ranjit understands his story is a tired and overused one. That’s why he seems to enjoy himself when it comes to how his characters are developed, the level of detail, how the movie is shot, or even how music is employed. When he wants a sensation to really hit home, he takes his own time and lingers in particular situations. Additionally, he occasionally uses conversation to reveal important plot pieces before you fully understand what is happening. There is no way around it: you will either enjoy the tempo of the movie or you won’t.
Regarding the characters, Michael may have walls that are so tall they can be seen from space, yet at his core, he is a gentle romantic who still struggles to move past his tragic past. He frequently chooses to hide behind rage or music, so you never truly know what he’s thinking. This is a deliberate move that benefits the movie. The fact that he respects women is a bonus. It’s quite telling that Guru enjoys reading works like The Godfather, Macbeth, and The Old Man and the Sea. Theera is presented in a scenario with a spider motif, yet her earrings’ design suggests something quite different. Amar, on the other hand, is merely a spoiled child who constantly demands.
Vijay Sethupathi and Varalaxmi Sarathkumar are also introduced later in a movie that already has a large cast. Their sequences demonstrate a different kind of romance and inject some humour into an otherwise sombre movie. Michael actually has a lot going on, but the pace, which some would mistake for lag, gives the impression that not much is occurring. But if you look closely, you can see how Michael is getting closer to his intended destination. A special thanks to Kiran Koushik’s cinematography and Sam CS’s music, both of which significantly contribute to the film’s edgy atmosphere. Some of Kiran’s photographs are simply stunning.
Sundeep Kishan is given a challenging role; he doesn’t speak much during the movie. Michael is utterly out of control when he’s angry, but other times he hides a lot behind those intensely dark eyes. Sundeep seizes the chance and seizes it head-on, grabbing the show. He also gets along well with the characters portrayed by Gautham Vasudev Menon and Varun Sandesh. A better dancer and possibly someone with a little more emotion were needed for Divyansha’s role. Even while the romance is successful, some sequences lose some of the power that her character may have had. Playing their roles excellently are Varun, Gautham, Anasuya, Ayyappa, RK Mama, and others.
Michael is a genre film that achieves what it sets out to do – tell a dark coming-of-age tale of a young man who knows what it means to be human for better or worse. Watch it if that’s your kind of cinema.