Director: N. Kalyanakrishnan
Cast: Jayam Ravi, Priya Bhavani Shankar, and Tanya Ravichandran.
When a crane operator starts controlling illegal trades at the harbor, he winds up clashing with another gangster.
Agilan 2023 Tamil Movie Review:
Agilan works as a crane operator in the cargo loading section of the harbor. However, he also has his hand in a lot of illegal activities in the port and he has no qualms about it. He’s your go-to guy to get any job done inside the harbor.
As Agilan does all the dirty work for a local gang lord, he’s also been quietly planning something on the side which comes to the fore in the second half of the film. Parallelly, Chirag Jan’, who plays a port security officer, will stop at nothing till he catches Agilan.
Agilan, like most Tamil films, isn’t sure what it wants to be. For the entirety of the first half, it presents us with a flawed hero, who’s self-centered with no morals. The second half introduces us to an entirely new world where the villainous deeds of the hero are justified.
This is forcibly done via a sub-plot about world hunger issues. The need to transform the hero from a grey-shaded character to one of a messiah sticks out like a sore thumb, especially after Ravi nails the negative part quite convincingly.
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The sudden tonal shift in the plot, particularly in the second half, is what lets the film down. Here’s a film that could’ve truly tapped into a side of Jayam Ravi that hasn’t been explored before. He could’ve remained a cut-throat criminal till the end and it would’ve helped the film feel more wholesome.
Also, Tamil cinema’s obsession with delivering messages needs to stop. It’s perfectly alright to have a hero with his moral compass, not in the right place. As long as the character is interesting, it doesn’t matter if he’s playing the good or the bad guy.
The harbors world very effectively. Having predominantly shot inside a port, one can see the detailing that has gone into the visuals of the film. Jayam Ravi is earnest in a role that could’ve easily ended up being his career best.
His efforts fall short because of the character transformation that doesn’t work in his favor. The hero-villain conflict is another weak aspect of the film and hardly adds any value to making the story interesting.
A look at Jayam Ravi’s filmography points out something fascinating. Whenever the film’s title is also the name of his character, it either ends up as a resounding hit or a colossal dud.
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For every M. Kumaran Son of Mahalakshmi, Santhosh Subramaniyam, and Ponniyin Selvan, he’s also got an Aadhi Bhagavan, Bhooloham, and Bhoomi, and unfortunately, Agilan will join the latter. Despite Ravi carrying the film on his able shoulders all by himself, Agilan goes nowhere and is as futile as an anchored ship.
Verdict: Agilan 2023 Tamil Movie Review
Jayam Ravi can’t save this mishmash of ideas watered down by insipid writing.