Although Fight Club has good performances and cinematography, the Abbas A. Rahmath directorial’s storyline makes it a confusing watch. Vijay Kumar's film is available to stream on Disney+ Hotstar
Fight Club Story
Set against the backdrop of Vada Chennai (North Chennai), Selva, a college student, is passionate about pursuing his dreams of becoming a footballer. But he is unable to do this due to certain financial restraints. Benji, an altruist, dreams of excelling in sports but ends up mentoring local kids. Benji is killed by his brother Joseph and Kiruba, a drug peddler, for which Benji alone takes the fall. Years later, Selva finds himself a scapegoat in Joseph's ploy to take revenge from a then-big-shot Kuruba. What happens next forms the crux of the story.
Fight Club Review
This is filmmaker Lokesh Kanagaraj's debut production venture, but it lacks any shock value as the battle is ultimately against the sale of drugs. The film begins with Selva, played by Vijay Kumar, narrating a flashback story, which is a constant in Lokesh's films. Selva introduces all the characters, starting off with Benji, aka Benjamin, played by Kartheekeyan Santhanam. Although he makes a short appearance, his character plays a vital role in the film. Kartheekeyan Santhanam makes a short yet fairly good appearance as Selva’s mentor and is probably one of the very few characters in the film who you will sympathise with.
The film has some impressive performances and manages to accurately capture the raw essence of North Chennai. Vijay Kumar, who had a commendable performance in Uriyadi, does well as a North Chennai lad in this flick. Although he lacks energy in certain scenes, he makes a decent overall attempt.
The most impressive performances are, however, by Avinash Raghudevan, who does an excellent job at playing a vengeful Joseph. However, his character lacks depth and could have been explored further. Shankar Thas as Kiruba manages to convincingly play a drug-peddler-turned-politician.
The film shines in its technical aspects. The cinematography draws parallels to Lokesh Kanagaraj’s Kaithi, by showing impressive visuals of the residents and their livelihood. None of it is exaggerated or underexplored. The camera work, especially during stunt sequences, is one of the best cinematic experiences in this action drama. However, Govind Vasantha’s music is a letdown, thanks to his repetitive use of Ilayaraja songs (En Jodi Manja Kuruvi in fight sequences).
Although Abbas A. Rahmath’s debut directorial is decent, his screenplay is a bummer. The film heavily relies on the action sequences, so the story is, therefore, abrupt. The non-linear format adopted is rather confusing. The story starts off with a set of characters and newer ones are included, with a jarring juggling between flashbacks and the present. The screenplay is hard to explain due to its complex narrative.
Monisha Mohan Menen, who plays the female lead as Shailu, does not contribute anything to the story. The film could have done without her in it.
The climax portion was not the shock that it was probably intended to be and the rapid killing of the antagonist feels extremely rushed. Some better hands at the editing table would have gone a long way. Overall, the film may appeal to you if you don't take your eyes off the screen; otherwise, you may find yourself repeatedly hitting the rewind button to understand what's going on.
Fight Club Verdict
Abbas A. Rahmath and Vijay Kumar’s action drama is a decent watch if you like complex plotlines with loads of violence. If you're looking for a screenplay-based action drama, you can skip this one.