This film is an entertaining mix of crime and sports. It’s engaging, action-packed, fast-paced, funny and dribbles its way to an exciting conclusion.
Bigil, played by Joseph Vijay, is a gifted soccer player whose career comes to a halt due to a tragic turn of events. Years later, he is forced to become the head coach of a women’s soccer team and steers them to their dream of winning the national championship, a feat he missed as a player.
The team comprising of women from impoverished rural areas with the dream of making it big, at first refuses Bigil as a coach due to his criminal life. But he eventually wins their heart and along the way not only earns their respect, but he empowers them on and off the field.
Like a soccer match, the film has two halves. The first half is an intense build-up to the second half that entirely deals with the soccer team while examining the lives of the key players and tackling timely women related issues.
Vijay is mesmerizing in a dual role as father and son. The scenes they share are heartwarming and at some point, heart-wrenching.
Nayanthara as Aasirvatham is Gibil’s love interest. Here, she is not just a pretty face. Her character is pivotal to the narrative. She uses compassion when dealing with situations where Gibil fails, or most men would in general. Also, her comic timing is spot on.
The stories of Anitha and Gayathri performed with aplomb by Reba Monica and Varsha Bollamma respectively as the late inclusion to the team are both moving and inspiring.
It’s writer-director Atlee Kumar who steals the match. In the second half, he creatively puts the protagonist in the backseat and let the remarkable team of women take over to fight their way to victory. It has a rousing finale that made me jump out of my seat.
The song Singappenney by A.R. Rahman gave me goosebumps. In it, watch for Rahman and Atlee in a cameo.
Though the film has a running time of almost three hours, I couldn’t care less. I enjoyed it thoroughly.