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The Legend Movie Review: Best among the worst

Ever watched a film that's so bad that it's actually good? Saravanan Arul's The Legend tops the list.

  • S Subhakeerthana

Last Updated: 02.07 PM, Jul 28, 2022

The Legend Movie Review: Best among the worst

A still from The Legend

Plot: A world-famous scientist faces a medical mafia while working on a cure for diabetes.

Review: Every movie industry conjures its own web of cliches based on the audiences it must attract. Cliches are notoriously oblivious to their expiration date in Tamil cinema. The reason for this is that it hangs on to patterns that have been hashed and rehashed so many times that midnight teleshopping ads would be a pity. The Legend belongs to that category. As much as it tries to be unpredictable, it is awfully predictable.

The best way to take action is to back it up with emotion. Who knows it better than the director-duo JD-Jerry, who forced their way into the genre in 2022 with The Legend? The noble people hath told you the Saravanan Arul-starrer was no ordinary film. If it was to be believed, you are at a grievous fault.

Entrepreneur Saravanan, who has appeared in ads, sings and dances; wears stylish costumes, as expected of any Tamil super-hero, and fights every evil-doer in the vicinity with single-handed panache in The Legend. This is an ideal launchpad for any hero. Thanks to the trolls, the film generated enormous anticipation. Saravanan Arul's face shines brighter than his heroines; the dance moves glitter even more than usual. Anyone could have made The Legend by hiring the popular names in the business, but full credit to the producer Saravanan Arul for assembling this cast and crew to tell us a dry and done-to-death story, on this scale.

True to form, Saravanan Arul dons the role of a do-gooder hero-educationist-doctor-scientist (add many other hyphens), who can bash any number of men, mouth ridiculously laughable punch dialogues, and to prove the point, you have the opening number, Mosalo Mosalu.

The protagonist has an important ambition to fulfil: he will somehow find a drug to cure diabetes, and supply it for free to the needy. What's a superhero who can't rise from the dead like a phoenix? The Legend does in style donning a cool avatar in the process. And if you can't guess the outcome, then you've been living on another planet.

The Legend follows the done-to-death formula from the hoary days of MGR, and Rajinikanth, so if you're expecting an intelligent script, disappointment will ensue. The screenplay looks like it's been patched together to allow for the songs and fight sequences, and has little cohesion. Of logic and rationale, there's pitifully little. The Legend is, however, a sort of pseudo-manifesto for Saravanan Arul, if at all he wants to plunge into politics.

I wish the makers acknowledged that The Legend was a straight lift from Rajinikanth’s Sivaji: The Boss. (Suman is the villain in both the films.) Borrowing ideas freely from old films isn't quite a fault. At least, Jerry-JD could have done it properly. And that's my biggest grouse. The Legend is funny for the most part, as you tend to overlook the plagiaristic moves. I find film downright stupid, at best a guilty pleasure. Despite what the critics say, you'll watch it.

Is it really necessary to analyse everything so much? All right, I knew the answer. Saravanan Arul's claim to fame is his ability to keep people in splits—whether they laugh at him or with him seems immaterial. The crowd I saw the film with went delirious with laughter, even when the protagonist was in tears.

Again, full marks to Harris Jayaraj, as most of the tunes were rehashes of old hits. The hilarious thing is that, as soon as the visuals of Kone Komaane appeared on the screen, the audience in the theatre loudly sang, Thillana Thillana (from Rajinikanth's Muthu) along with it. See, the crowd is smart! You can't cheat them.

A patient viewer can put up with a second love song, even when it hampers the flow of events. But by the time the lovers take off on their third duet, please... (I wish I abruptly exited the theatre, but etiquette!) Personally, I find myself heading back into the theatre for the second half, no matter how tedious or irritating I've found the first. 

Velraj's camera work is quietly effective, and shimmering, for the dance numbers. The editing seems a bit jerky in places. Harris Jayaraj has recognised the movie's “mass” tag and fulfilled his responsibilities dutifully. Vivekh's role is enjoyable whenever it melds with the main narration. Otherwise, the track is just a time-wasting exercise.

Verdict: The Legend is three films in one, and has everything for a weekend entertainer—a great supporting cast with some over-the-top performances; foot-tapping music, dance sequences and great locations. (You get to see the Himalayas, etc.) Give your brains a rest, and enjoy this mass masala entertainer—that much is guaranteed. This film might make money, proving yet again that bad art needn't necessarily mean bad business.