Cast: Arjun, Archana, Hema, Mayilsamy, Kota Sreenivasa Rao, Santhanabharathi, Ponnambalam
It’s a role that fits him like a glove, and one which he has essayed innumerable times. That of an upright cop who takes on criminals. Although there is not much variation in the etching of the roles, Arjun, each time has returned with renewed enthusiasm and vigour to replay it. In 'Maasi', he plays an encounter specialist who tries to cleanse the system by breaking the underworld police-politician nexus. A role which he performs with effortless ease. Only, this time it’s more about guns blazing than muscles flexing.
The plot is pretty usual. There are two rival politicians and their survival games, and their nexus with two rival gangsters, the latter fighting for domination in Chennai. Rawat and Ponnambalam, loud and flamboyant, play the typical gangsters. Rawat holed up in Mumbai, does return much later to Chennai walking into the trap laid for him.
Meanwhile, Maasi with his juniors relentlessly pursues and guns down the criminals one by one. Having lost a loved one in a crossfire had only added to his angst. At one point, Maasi finds himself discredited and packed to prison.
Soon after comes the volte-face, where he, while succumbing to the pressure and lucre, consents to help out the criminal elements in return for an escape from the prison.
Maasi has two women in his life. Having lost his first lady love, he shows no interest in romancing the second one. Considering that the two female leads are mere props in Maasi’s world, they could at least have been attractive.
Mayilsami’s antics as the two-wheeler thief who innocently asks the grim Maasi to start a stolen vehicle for him is mildly funny.
If the director has made an effort to bring in some variation here, it’s in the way the cop eliminates his tormentors. There are less flexing of muscles and one-to-one fights here. It’s more of shootouts, as Maasi and gang stalk, pursue and gun down the baddies all over the city. At times we do get the feel of being transported to some lawless town in a wild western flick. What goes for the film is Arjun’s screen presence, and the film’s speedy pace which doesn’t allow much time for mulling over flaws or loopholes.
'Maasi' is a film strictly for fans of the Action King.