Legend Movie Review: The only thing The Legend has going for it is Harris Jayaraj’s music and background score, but it’s not enough to save this cringe-fest.
Cast of The Legend: Saravanan Arul, Urvashi Rautela, Vivekh, Suman, Nasser, Geethika Tiwari
Director of The Legend: JD and Jerry
Legend movie rating: 1 star
A shocking aspect of The Legend is the utter lack of self-awareness of the film’s directorial duo of JD-Jerry, who are behind some sensible films like Ullasam and Whistle. For some reason, the two were convinced they were on to something big when they sat down to design a star vehicle for well-known businessman Saravanan Arul. But in reality, the directorial duo was only helping a would-be star who had squandered a fortune on his ego trip.
Even before its release, the general consensus about The Legend was to categorize it as “so-bad-it’s-good”. Legend undoubtedly lived up to expectations and in no way falsifies preconceived notions about the film. Nevertheless, one must admit that the film is unintentionally hilarious. The last time I saw audiences having so much fun in theaters was in Sivakarthikeyan’s Doctor. The comedy was intentional there though, but here people are laughing at the film and not with it. It gives us goosebumps as the brooding hero monologues about his devotion to the land and its people. It wants us to tear up at its loss and scream whenever it hits minions. But laughter seems to be the common response to this bloated vehicle that runs for about 160 minutes.
The trailer of Legend had some similarities with Rajinikanth’s 2007 film Sivaji. Like Shankar’s blockbuster, The Legend has its overachieving hero, Saravanan (Saravanan Arul), who returns to his hometown to seemingly help the unsuspecting to the villagers. Saravanan is a renowned scientist who made a major breakthrough in antibiotics that put many crony capitalist pharmaceutical companies out of business. Obviously, he has many villains clamoring for his blood. Now he wants to find a permanent cure for diabetes. VJ (Suman) doesn’t like it one bit as he makes a living selling insulin and ensures that Saravanan now has a target painted on his back.
In between all of this, The Legend also sells us romance. So, when Saravanan isn’t giving life lessons and kicking around people three times his body weight, he’s wooing Thulasi (Geethika Tiwari), a lecturer whose father is his family friend. Things quickly escalate and the two soon get married. Perhaps it is the only thing that moves in The Legend’s script, which otherwise remains as static as Saravanan’s face.
Talking about faces, The Legend features some capable actors like Vijakumar, Nasser and Thambi Ramaiah. Unfortunately, they all turned into a ridiculous caricature with redundant lines. Harris Jayaraj’s songs and background scores and R. Velraj’s cinematography are the only real efforts put into this dated and formulaic film.
The inherent problem with Legend is that it is not the film but the backdrop that propels Saravanan to stardom. Even a well-intentioned story about how to take on the medical mafia is used to serve the hero. All the scenes are carefully crafted to elevate the hero and it is sad and agonizing to see these famous actors reduced to supporting templates with the sole purpose of rousing the hero. JD and Jerry made much better commercials and The Legend ends up being an elaborate and expensive addition to their stable. The pseudo-film aims to sell Saravanan Arul as a star. Unfortunately, the attempt is futile, as the stars – cinematic and celestial – cannot be designed.