Is Bigil worth the whistle? Yes. Especially in the first half. But you can put it back in your pocket in the second half because this Vijay-starrer descends into familiar sport movie territory, with a heavy dose of Chak de India-ism.
Bigil, starring Vijay in a double role as father and son, sparkles everytime father Rayappan who is a gangster in north Chennai is on screen. He dreams of son Michael (who is also Bigil) playing in the national football team. How the son’s football career moves forms the rest of the plot.
What works for the movie is Vijay’s style especially as Rayappan, especially the manner in which he flicks his veshti to fold it or the raised eyebrows. It is totally mass. The stunts are shot very well, they are pretty much the highlight of the movie and elevate Vijay’s larger-than-life heroism. The first half screenplay is tight and builds up to the interval.
What does not work for the movie is that after a while, Rayappan is overshadowed by Bigil. And a Rayappan-less Bigil loses the plot and begins to drag post interval. The kind of comedy with the leading lady that one associates with Vijay movies is lacking in the film. The other regret is that the plot does not give much scope to Vijay to display his dancing skills except in a couple of songs.