ⓘ Hero (2019 Tamil film)
Hero is a 2019 Indian Tamil-language superhero film directed by P. S. Mithran, and produced by Kotapadi J. Rajesh under his production house KJR Studios. It stars Sivakarthikeyan, Abhay Deol, Arjun, Kalyani Priyadarshan and Ivana in prominent roles. This film marks the Tamil debuts of Deol and Kalyani Priyadarshan.
The story was written by P. S. Mithran, Pon Parthiban, Savari Muthu and Antony Bhagyaraj. The music for the film is composed by Yuvan Shankar Raja, with cinematography done by George C. Williams, and editing done by Ruben. The film was released worldwide on 20 December 2019.
Sakthivel "Sakthi" is a young boy who dreams of becoming a superhero, like Shaktimaan. After being ridiculed by his teacher and classmates for believing that Shaktimaan is real, Sakthi tries to prove it by falling off the terrace of his school, injuring himself in the process. His father Azhagam Perumal tries to convince Sakthi that Shaktimaan is fictional by showing the disclaimer of actor Mukesh Khanna advising viewers that the events depicted in the show are purely fictitious, causing Sakthi to abandon his hopes of becoming a superhero.
Years later, Sakthi Sivakarthikeyan and Inbaraj "Ink" Robo Shankar are friends who earn their livelihood as educational brokers and run a xerox shop in their neighbourhood that houses a certificate forgery unit to help the needy secure their desired jobs at the expense of huge commissions. Sakthi bumps across Meera Kalyani Priyadarshan, a social worker at an educational fair. and falls in love with her. Meera happens to be the inspiration of Mathi Ivana, a brilliant girl who aspires to become an aeronautical engineer. Mathi devises an engine that runs on saltwater as a measure to help her father Elango Kumaravel and many other thwart the problem of rising petrol prices. Meera soon learns of Sakthis true profession and advises him to help Mathi secure an admission in an engineering college without any payment. Sakthi tries to secure an admission for Mathi, but to no avail. He learns that the only way to help Mathi secure a seat is to demonstrate the practical applications of her engine, which is rejected by Sathyamoorthy Arjun, Mathis teacher who runs a school for the academically weak but brilliant children. Sakthi bypasses his warnings and demonstrates the engine at an educational fair by attaching it to an autorickshaw. This attracts the attention of the henchman of Mahadev Abhay Deol. In turn, he promises a seat for Mathi with full scholarship. The next day, the autorickshaw is seized by the police, and Mathi is arrested on grounds of patent violation. The court convicts her guilty of the charges, which distraughts her. She attempts suicide by falling off a running train. Sakthi takes her to the hospital, only for the doctors to delay her treatment, and she eventually succumbs to her injuries. Sakthi and Ink are also convicted guilty and are placed on the wanted list for aiding Madhi.
Sakthi, on the run, decides that the only way to avenge Mathis death and prove her innocence is to confront the company issuing the patents. Due to his experience in forging certificates, he easily fishes out the fact that the patent was forged by the company under Mahadevs orders but is attacked in the process, when he is rescued by Sathyamoorthy wearing a mask. Sathyamoorthy explains to him that Mahadev is a corrupt business tycoon whose aim is to wipe out innovation in work culture. He also subdues brilliant students and subjects them to lobotomy, rendering their frontal cortex unusable, therefore reducing them to his "puppets". He uses their innovations to sell them to foreign companies and earn profits. Sathyamoorthy, being an advocate of innovation, secretly nurtures such children away from Mahadev in his school. Sakthi decides to fight the system along with Sathyamoorthy and the children, donning the mantle of the "Mask."
Using the gadgets developed by the children and Sathyamoorthys training, Sakthi fights through Mahadevs henchmen and eventually learns the truth. Sathyamoorthy sacrifices himself in the struggle, prompting Sakthi to telecast the innovative inventions of students and explaining to the audience that children should be given freedom to follow their passion and not be just mere bookworms. In the final fight, Mahadevs plans are foiled and Sakthi subjects him to lobotomy, disabling him permanently. Six months later, Sakthi, while still on the wanted list, runs the school along with Meera on the outskirts of the city. A police officer Prem approaches him and takes him in his jeep around the city, where Sakthi finds major developments in the city due to the innovations of Mathi and other brilliant students. The officer tosses away the documents relating to Sakthis charges as he had opened his eyes about his childs dreams, and requests Sakthi to continue on with the mantle of the Mask. In the post credits scene, it is also revealed that Sathyamoorthy is alive and is helping Sakthi in his missions.
After a successful debut through Irumbu Thirai, director P. S. Mithran announced in early-2019 that he would direct a film featuring actor Sivakarthikeyan in the lead role.
The crew of director Mithrans previous film, Irumbu Thirai were also retained for this film as well, including composer Yuvan Shankar Raja, editor Ruben, cinematographer George C. Williams. Additionally, Arjun, who was the main antagonist in Irumbu Thirai was added to the cast. Furthermore, later actress Kalyani Priyadarshan was announced to play the female lead alongside actress Ivana in a supporting role. The film also marks Abhay Deols Tamil debut, and he will be playing the main villain role for the first time in his career.
The film was officially announced with its title Hero on 13 March 2019, with a formal pooja held, marking the commencement of the principal photography.
3. Themes and influences
The Times of India, reviewed the film as a spiritual sequel to Gentleman 1993. Some of the scenes and inventions used in the film were actually based on real-life incidents, which includes the salt-water engine and satellites using helium filled balloon.
The soundtrack album is composed by Yuvan Shankar Raja, marking his second collaboration with Sivakarthikeyan and P. S. Mithran after "Kedi Billa Killadi Ranga" 2013 and Irumbu Thirai 2018 respectively. All the songs were released as singles, before being released as an album. The lyrics for the songs were written by Pa. Vijay, G. Rokesh and rap versions were penned by Abby Simone and MC Sanna.
All lyrics are written by Pa. Vijay, except where noted.
The film was released on 20 December 2019, clashing with Dabangg 3, which was also distributed by KJR Studios. The film released in Dubai on 19 December 2019, a day before its original release.
5.1. Release Distribution
The Tamilnadu and Kerala distribution rights were acquired by the production house itself. Horizon Studio acquired the Karnataka distribution rights. The overseas rights were bought by AP International and Home Screen Entertainment.
5.2. Release Marketing
The title poster, announcing the release date of the film was launched by the makers on 27 July 2019. The first look was released on 2 September 2019, on the day of Vinayagar Chathurthi, where Sivakarthikeyan was seen holding a mask. The second look was released on 18 October 2019. Sivakarthikeyan is presented wearing mask with fire and chaos all around. The official teaser was launched by Salman Khan on 24 October 2019. The official trailer was released on 13th December 2019.
As a part of the films promotional purposes, the makers launched a new Augmented Reality game experience titled Play Hero, on 23 November 2019. The latest poster of the film was launched on 28 November 2019. The production company KJR Studios, advertised the film in local trains, along with the Salman Khan-starrer Dabangg 3, for which the distribution rights were bought by the company. The makers also launched an one-of-a-kind upscale promotion, in which the "Hero" symbol is lighted up in buildings.
On 9 December 2019, the makers launched the official merchandise of the film teaming up with BeatRoute and Fully Filmy. Later the following day, on 10 December 2019, the makers released the WhatsApp stickers of the film. On 11 December 2019, the makers launched the Augmented Reality filter for Facebook and Instagram. Theatrical trailer of the film was released on 13 December 2019, at Sathyam Cinemas in Chennai, and it was later released on YouTube. The makers also announced a promotional event at M. A. Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai on 15 December 2019, coinciding with the first ODI match between India and West Indies which was also hosted in Chennai.
The Times of India rated the film 3.5 out of 5, stating that "A superhero story origin, thats also a spiritual sequel to Shankars Gentleman ". Behindwoods rated the film 2.5 out of 5, stating that "Hero is a watchable Super-Hero drama with some inspiring moments." Firstpost rated the 3/5, stating that "Mithran has given a neat commercial entertainer, which also calls for a rethink of our educational policy." Sify rated the film 3.5 out of 5 stating that Hero is a must watch for families this holiday season, which has a relevant message on the modern-day educational system."
India Today rated the film 2.5 out of 5 stars, stating that "Hero had all the potential to become a proper superhero film sensible to Tamil cinema standards. But, the lumbering narrative in a few portions, exaggerated scenes and illogical loopholes ruin the entire experience." Sudhir Srinivasan rated the film 3 out of 5 stars, stating that "Hero takes its messaging very, very seriously. The film is a scathing criticism of the education system. It attacks colleges, pressurising parents, the spineless government, and above all, a syllabus that stifles originality and creativity, and in the words of Mahadev Abhay Deol," that is designed to create labourers.” Moorthy Arjun says as much." The Indian Express rated 2 out of 5 stating that "Sivakarthikeyan’s superpower is being super preachy."
Baradwaj Rangan of Film Companion reviewed it as "The film is surprisingly understated. It steers clear of massy "hero" moments, and theres a lot of clear, clean thinking in the writing." Haricharan Pudipeddi reviewed the film as "PS Mithran’s Hero is the Gentleman tribute we needed and it’s a film that pretty much gets everything right."
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