Review – Bogan (2017) ..a fairly engaging potboiler that is uplifted by the presence of Arvind Swamy! (2.5/5)

Arvind Swamy’s terrific makeover as a baddie was a much-talked about subject post the release of ‘Thani Oruvan’ in 2015. While its no surprise that he carries over a bit of his suave ‘Siddharth Abhimanyu’ mannerisms to the antagonist Adithya in ‘Bogan’, it is by all means this film’s unique selling proposition. Swamy shadows Ravi (who does try his best to emulate the former) by a pretty big margin; the reason being that the sincere conviction put across by Ravi looks palpable while Swamy’s baddie act is unrefined and much more relaxed.

The film opens with playboy Adithya in bed with a multitude of beauties, orating his ideals in life and we get a feeling of de ja vu. The viewer is “educated” about the fact that the crux of the film revolves around the fantasy element of body-swapping. Soonafter, the scenario cuts to Ravi’s and Hansika’s flimsily written romance. The less said about how things play out in these insipid 30-40 minutes, the better. One starts to wonder where Swamy’s character has vanished in the meantime. Thankfully, it doesn’t take too long for Swamy’s Adithya to show up again and get his fate intertwined with Ravi’s Asst. Commissioner Vikram (a do-gooder cop who devotes sufficient time towards his lady-love, and is easily affected by family sentiments unlike the no-nonsense, steadfast officer in ‘Thani Oruvan’).

It is safe to say that ‘Bogan’ works fine in bits and pieces than as a coherent whole..like the hilarious scene between Vikram and Adithya in the car (clearly indicates the hero-villain chemistry between both the actors), the terrific interval block, and few scenes where Ravi imitates Swamy’s body-language and demeanor (a la John Woo’s 1997 actioner Face Off) and their engrossing cat-and-mouse confrontations. There are drawbacks aplenty as well..no effective story build-up with regards to how the body-swapping skill is initially acquired (other than a three minute explanation by Nasser whose character is underdeveloped),  underwhelming song compositions by D. Imman (the theme music is catchy however!), bland romance portions (in the first half!) that do nothing but stretch the run-time and the uninteresting climax sequence (which even hints at a sequel).

I’d still say ‘Bogan’ is fairly engaging with all its flaws and worth a watch for Arvind Swamy’s (and to an extent Ravi’s) performance(s) ..only this time, less classy (and more trashy!) than ‘Thani Oruvan’. For writer/director Lakshman, ‘Bogan’ is indeed a big improvement over his previous venture..the awful ‘Romeo Juliet’.

Watch the trailer here:

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