ⓘ Mugamoodi is a 2012 Indian Tamil-language superhero film written and directed by Mysskin that features Jiiva, Pooja Hegde and Narain in lead roles, while Girish ..


ⓘ Mugamoodi

Mugamoodi is a 2012 Indian Tamil-language superhero film written and directed by Mysskin that features Jiiva, Pooja Hegde and Narain in lead roles, while Girish Karnad, Nassar, and Selva play supporting roles. It is the first Tamil superhero movie. 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. With mixed critical response the film was released on 31 August 2012, along with its dubbed Telugu version titled Mask. It has also been dubbed in Hindi as Mahabali Ek Super Hero.


1. Plot

Anandan alias Bruce Lee Jiiva 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 Pooja Hegde, the daughter of Police Deputy Commissioner Gaurav Nassar. Lee falls in love immediately, but Shakthi pepper-sprays him on both of their initial meetings. When his grandfather Girish Karnad 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 sisters children.

Lee 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. The gang of bandits, led by Anguchamy alias Dragon Narain, come up with a plan to frame Lee for a series of robberies and murders.

Soon, it is later revealed in the climax that Dragon used to be Lees teacher. Dragon was a good man and great martial artist. However, he lost his family due to some tragic event. From then, he turned into a thug by using his fighting skills. He thinks that the community did not help him, so he wants to take over it by using his strength. Dragon has lost his family the same day when Lee lost his mentor.

As police officers begin dying, Lee desperately tries to clear his name and win Shakthis love. What happens next forms the rest of the story.


2. Production

In September 2008, UTV Motion Pictures agreed to produce Mysskins script, Mugamoodi Mask, and subsequently signed on leading actor Suriya to play the role of the protagonist. Pre-production work for the film began in late 2008, with the film also being referred to by the media as Agni Puthran. The film was reported to be made at a cost of ₹ 450 million with A. R. Rahman as music composer and Suriya portraying a karate fighter in the film. However, in July 2009, Suriya opted out, and unsuccessful discussions were held with Vishal to replace him, forcing Mysskin to stall the project. As the project remained dormant, Mysskin temporarily shelved the project and moved on to script a horror film.

In October 2010, Arya signed on for the film with N. Linguswamys Thirupathi Brothers production house replacing UTV as producers. 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. Later that month, it was announced that Narain, 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. In early July 2011, sources reported that Amala Paul had been signed up to portray the lead female character in the film, which the actress dismissed, with Dhananjayan of UTV also confirming that Amala was not approached for the role. Pooja Hegde, second runner-up of the 2011 Miss Universe India beauty pageant, was eventually finalized as the female lead. K, who had scored for Mysskins 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. 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. The following month, Nassar was selected to portray a police officer. Pooja Hegde appeared as Jiivas lover in the film.

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. In fact, a lot of the kung fu content of the film were handled by the Grand Master R. Shekhar. 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. Furthermore, a Los Angeles-based firm would handle special effects, while action sequences are planned to be choreographed by stuntmen from Hong Kong. Costumes are designed by Gabriella Wilkins, and it is said that Jiivas superhero outfit weighs more than 10 kg. Shooting of the film started officially on 12 December 2011 with the opening scene of kung fu as that was so spoken about. The film is expected to be released during Summer 2012. 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. 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 ports 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.; Tony Leung Siu Hung, a stunt coordinator from Hong Kong, has joined the climax shoot of the film thats being canned in a massive scale at Karaikal.


3. Soundtrack

Mugamoodi s score and soundtrack were composed by K, who had worked on Mysskins 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. 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.

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


4. Release

The satellite rights of the film were sold to Sun TV. The film was given a "U" certificate by the Indian Censor Board. This film was released worldwide screens on 31 August 2012 and it would be the 100th film to be released in 2012. 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. The first look and trailer of Jiivas 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. 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.


5. Critical reception

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 Easts action films, Mugamoodi combines both to give some pleasure". Behindwoods Review Board rated it 3 out of 5 stating that it had a "pacy first half, compensated by the overall performance and effort of the cast & crew". 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". Prakash Upadhyaya of recommended the film with a 3.5 out 5 rating.

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". Pavithra Srinivasan of Rediff gave it 2 out of 5 stars, writing that it had "all the makings of a successful film but ends up disappointing", particularly criticizing Mysskins screenplay that "fails him spectacularly". Rohit Ramachandran of rated it 1.5 out of 5 stating that the film was "heavily flawed and utterly boring". Vivek Ramz of rated it 1.5 out of 5 and said that Mugamoodi is no Batman, just Kanthaswamy revisited!"