Mugamoodi

Mugamoodi (transl.Mask) is a 2012 Indian superhero film written and directed by Mysskin. The film features Jiiva, with newcomer Pooja Hegde, and Narain in the lead roles,[3] while Girish Karnad, Nassar, and Selva play supporting roles. The music was composed by K with cinematography by Sathyan Sooryan. With mixed critical response, the film was released on 31 August 2012 along with its dubbed Telugu version titled Mask.[4][5] It has also been dubbed in Hindi as Mahabali Ek Super Hero. The film marks the debut film of Hegde.

Mugamoodi
Mugamoodi-poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byMysskin
Written byMysskin
Produced byRonnie Screwvala
Siddharth Roy Kapur
Starring
CinematographySathyan Sooryan
Edited byGaugin
Music byK
Production
companies
Distributed byUTV Motion Pictures
Release date
  • 31 August 2012 (2012-08-31) (India)
Running time
162 minutes[1]
CountryIndia
LanguageTamil
Budget50 crore[2]

The film is about a man who cannot tolerate injustice and corruption and hence turns into a vigilante to fight against it for a better society. This film was dedicated to Bruce Lee.

PlotEdit

A series of severe heist cases is happening in multiple places in India, which has so far left dozens dead and countless amounts of money robbed. The story is set in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, where police believe that a new case of the series is about to take place. Anand alias Bruce Lee is a college graduate who cannot stand the idea of a 9-to-5 job. Instead, he studies martial arts with a group of similarly jobless friends. Attempting to recruit new students who can pay tuition and save their school, he gets involved in a brawl and meets Shakthi, the daughter of Police Deputy Commissioner Gaurav. Lee falls in love with Shakthi immediately, but she pepper-sprays him on both of their initial meetings. When his grandfather advises him to make the girl see him as a hero, Lee borrows a superhero costume and goes to see Shakthi, who is looking after her elder sister's children.

A masked Lee in a Superman costume, who claims to be Mugamoodi, tries to impress them with his martial arts skills and accidentally ends up in the middle of a police chase. He helps the police capture one of the bandits. However, the gang shoots the captured member dead afterwards when police are transferring him and kill an inspector that was involved in the mission of arresting him, as revenge. Lee is now also in danger, but his identity is unknown to all. The news that Mugamoodi captures one of the most wanted suspects, which police cannot do in many months spread across the city, makes Shakthi begin to like Mugamoodi.

Gaurav successfully finds a match between the fingerprint they collected in the crime scene and one from police records. Lee tries to visit Shakthi again, unmasked, to reveal his identity and confess his love to her. When he arrives, he encounters a new murder scene, where the gang member shoots Gaurav, and therefore, Lee tries to seize him. The gunman escapes after the gun being seized by Lee, and all the family has seen Lee with a gun in hand in a shooting scene. All believe that it is Lee that shot Gaurav, and he is therefore being chased by police and on the run. The gang also kills Viji, Lee's friend who went with him to visit Shakthi. Lee is seen by police again with a dead body alone and is naturally thought responsible for the killing. Later on, Lee's grandfather and brother create a more professional superhero costume with a blue bodysuit, a black belt with the letter M on it, a black superhero mask which reveals the mouth and forehead, black leather boots, and black gloves.

Gaurav survives the shooting, and the gang decides to kill him again and his family in the hospital. Mugamoodi (masked Lee) saves them by defeating the gang with his kung fu skills and takes away Gaurav's police documents which contain the latest finding of the robber case, including the fingerprint match, because he wants to revenge Viji's death on his own. To his shock, he learns those police findings in the document are against his Master, Sifu Chandru, who taught him kung fu for years.

However, Chandru says that he is not connected to those cases but connected to the one that carried out them, Anguchamy alias Dragon, because they learnt kung fu in the same school 22 years ago. Meanwhile, Dragon also somehow learns that Mugamoodi is Lee. His gang raids Chandru' s kung fu school to kill Lee, only to find that Lee is not there, and they kill Chandru.

The gang takes over a port and kidnaps 30 children and three adults, including Shakthi, and takes them hostage to blackmail the police. They demand that Mugamoodi drive a van of gold alone, and the police arrange a ship and guarantee their safety when they are later crossing the Indian border, threatening to kill those hostages if refused. Mugamoodi accepts the deal and drives the gold there, where a fight breaks out between him and Dragon. During the fight, Dragon takes off Mugamoodi's mask and reveals his identity to Shakthi. He also confesses that Lee did not shoot Gaurav, and his gang member did. Shakthi, shocked, now realizes that she wronged Lee.

With the help of his grandfather and his friends that sneaked into the port, Lee kills some key members of the gang and saves all the hostages. In the climax fight between Lee and Dragon, the latter hangs from a ladder, using a hammer to hold on. Lee sticks his hand out for Dragon to pull himself up, but Dragon instead falls to his death in the sea. Shakthi kisses Lee on the forehead, after being released. The hostages thank Lee after saving them as Lee runs off.

The film ends with the Bruce Lee quote: "As you think, so shall you become."

CastEdit

ProductionEdit

 
Jiiva during an 8-hour head casting session in Hong Kong for make up for his character Bruce Lee/Mugamoodi

DevelopmentEdit

In September 2008, UTV Motion Pictures agreed to produce Mysskin's script, Mugamoodi (Mask), and subsequently signed on leading actor Suriya to play the role of the protagonist.[6] Pre-production work for the film began in late 2008, with the film also being referred to by the media as Agni Puthran.[7] The film was reported to be made at a cost of 50 crore with A. R. Rahman as music composer and Suriya portraying a karate fighter in the film.[8] However, in July 2009, Suriya opted out, and unsuccessful discussions were held with Vishal Reddy to replace him, forcing Mysskin to stall the project.[9] As the project remained dormant, Mysskin temporarily shelved the project and moved on to script a horror film.[10]

CastingEdit

In October 2010, Arya signed on for the film with N. Linguswamy's Thirupathi Brothers production house replacing UTV as producers.[11][12] However, within months, Arya had pulled out as had Linguswamy. In June 2011, a new Mumbai-based company had taken the production reins whilst Jiiva, after the commercial success of his political thriller Ko, had signed on to portray the lead role.[13] Later that month, it was announced that Narain Kumar, who had worked with Mysskin in both Chithiram Pesuthadi and Anjathe, would portray the role of the lead antagonist with reports suggesting that the role would be reminiscent of The Joker / Scarecrow from English films, The Dark Knight and Batman Begins respectively. Narain claimed that his villainy in the film would be totally brutal. His character in the movie has no shades and is absolutely negative.[14][15][16] In early July 2011, sources reported that Amala Paul had been signed up to portray the lead female character in the film,[17] which the actress dismissed, with Dhananjayan of UTV also confirming that Amala was not approached for the role.[18] Pooja Hegde, second runner-up of the 2011 Miss Universe India beauty pageant, was eventually finalized as the female lead.[19] K, who had scored for Mysskin's Yuddham Sei in 2010, was selected as the film composer over two other music directors, while Madhan Karky would pen the lyrics, associating for the first time with Mysskin.[20] Veteran Telugu actor Akkineni Nageswara Rao was added to the cast in November 2011, which proved false, and he was replaced by Girish Karnad, while Prakash Raj was also reported to be playing an important role.[21] The following month, Nassar Muhammad was selected to portray a police officer.[22] Pooja Hegde appeared as Jiiva's lover in the film.[23]

Reports further claimed that both Jiiva and Narain would undergo special training in martial arts with experts from the Shaolin Temple in China being flown in. A large group of young aspiring artists were roped in to be part of the fight sequences which are touted be the highlight of the movie. The artists were trained for over 6 months at Mansuria Kung Fu YMCA, Nandanam, Chennai.[3][24] In fact, a lot of the kung fu content of the film were handled by the Grand Master R. Shekhar.[25]

Effects and designEdit

High-end gadgets to be used in the film were reportedly designed by the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT), while teams from the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) were roped in to create the costumes and looks of the characters.[3] Furthermore, a Los Angeles-based firm would handle special effects, while action sequences are planned to be choreographed by stuntmen from Hong Kong.[3] Costumes are designed by Gabriella Wilkins, and it is said that Jiiva's superhero outfit weighs more than 10 kg.[26][27][28]

FilmingEdit

Shooting of the film started officially on 12 December 2011 with the opening scene of kung fu as that was so spoken about.[29] The film is expected to be released during Summer 2012.[30] The film was being canned in the nights in and around Triplicane in Chennai where the fight scene of Jiiva and Narain was shot in terrace.[31] Mysskin is planning a 20-day schedule to shoot the climax at Karaikal. The shoot concluded at Karaikal where daredevil stunts were performed by the lead actor at an altitude of 180 feet high where in the Karaikal port's conveyor belt passes over. Many scenes were also filmed at AVM studio where huge hospital set was erected and also at Victoria hall, Deaf and Dumb school.;[32] Tony Leung Siu Hung, a stunt coordinator from Hong Kong, has joined the climax shoot of the film that's being canned in a massive scale at Karaikal.[33][34]

MusicEdit

Mugamoodi
Soundtrack album by
Released6 July 2012
GenreFeature film soundtrack
LanguageTamil
LabelSa Re Ga Ma
ProducerK
K chronology
Yuddham Sei
(2011)
Mugamoodi
(2012)
Aarohanam
(2012)

Mugamoodi's score and soundtrack were composed by K, who had worked on Mysskin's previous venture Yuddham Sei as well. The soundtrack features eleven tracks, including a number of instrumentals. The lyrics were written by Madhan Karky and Kabilan.[23] The soundtrack album was released on 20 July 2012 at Sathyam Cinemas; it was presented by Vijay and received by Kannada lead actor Puneeth Rajkumar.[35]

Rediff wrote: "Mugamoodi's numbers grab your attention and carry you with them".[36] Milliblog wrote: "Tepid soundtrack from K".[37] Behindwoods wrote: "On the whole, the music has provided a good platform for the superhero to soar".[38]

Track listing
No.TitleLyricsSinger(s)Length
1."Vaayamoodi Summa Iru Da"Madhan KarkyAalap Raju4:34
2."Lullaby For Loss"  2:32
3."Bar Anthem"MysskinMysskin5:11
4."Blue Panther on the Prowl"  1:37
5."Maayavi"Madhan KarkyChinmayi4:29
6."Don't Drive Your Car With This Music On"  4:42
7."Cape of Good Hope"  2:44
8."Hell, Heaven and the Ladder"  1:40
9."Come Let's Fall in Love"  4:23

ReleaseEdit

The satellite rights of the film were sold to Sun TV. The film was released worldwide screens on 31 August 2012 and it would be the 100th film to be released in 2012.[39][40] Also, it is to be noted that the director has planned for upcoming sequels of Mugamoodi. Therefore, the director has planned to release a sequel every year.[41] The first look and trailer of Jiiva's 'Mugamoodi' took place in a grand scale on 29 June 2012 at Sathyam Cinemas. The trailer was launched by Suriya and received by director Lingusamy while the first look was released by Suriya and Gautham Vasudev Menon.[42] Mugamoodi released in over 500 screens in Tamil Nadu, and also opened in neighbouring states in good number of screens as well as in northern parts of India including Delhi and Mumbai. The film released simultaneously in Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore, Canada, the UK, the US, and other parts of the world.[43]

ReceptionEdit

Critical responseEdit

Mugamoodi received mixed reviews. IBN reviewed the film positive and cited that it had a "different flavour" further adding: "For those who love the West and East's action films, Mugamoodi' combines both to give some pleasure".[44] Behindwoods Review Board rated it 3.5 out of 5 stating that it had a "pacy first half, [a] slow second half but [was] compensated by the overall performance and effort of the cast & crew".[45] Malathi Rangarajan from The Hindu noted that it "travels on a terrain that’s new to Tamil cinema" and lauded Mysskin, saying that his "effort to make Mugamoodi appear as authentic as possible deserves to be commended".[46] Prakash Upadhyaya of oneindia.in recommended the film with a 3.5 out 5 rating.[47]

However, Sify termed the film average and a "one-time watch", calling it "good in parts" and claiming that it had "very good music and background score by K, but lacks a proper script and a racy presentation".[48] Pavithra Srinivasan of Rediff gave it 3.5 out of 5 stars, writing that it had "all the makings of a successful film but ends up disappointing", particularly criticizing Mysskin's screenplay that "fails him spectacularly".[49] Rohit Ramachandran of Nowrunning.com rated it 1.5 out of 5 stating that the film was "heavily flawed and utterly boring".[50] Vivek Ramz of in.com rated it 3.5 out of 5 and said that "Mugamoodi is no Batman, just Kanthaswamy revisited!"[51]

AccoladesEdit

Year Award Category Nominee Result Ref.
2013 2nd South Indian International Movie Awards Best Female Debutant - Tamil Pooja Hegde Nominated [52]
Best Actor in a Negative Role - Tamil Narain Kumar Nominated

ReferencesEdit

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External linksEdit