Bigil is honestly just an inspired attempt based on various sports based films released recently. Am not sure if Atlee added this to the credits or mentioned it in the disclaimer, since the disclaimer was displayed just for a second. The only difference here is that Bigil has a local gangster angle and a strong father-son sentiment working in the favour of the film.
Rayappan (Vijay) is a local gangster and fights for the good. He is someone who takes decision at the moment and likes to settle scores then and there. He keeps his son Michael (Bigil) who is a state level football player, out of the gangster wars. However, it affects Bigil's career. At one moment, he is forced to take the charge for coaching the women's football team. How he motivates them and help them win the title is presented with mass elements in the second half.
Atlee is in his comfort zone with the emotional segments and during the action parts. The scenes in the railway station, police station, toilet scene with Jackie Shroff, bringing back the two top players in to the team are all exceptional. However, when it comes to the football match and training etc, there is nothing new except for the large football stadium (poor VFX) purposedly blurred. It lacks the required emotion in the final match as well. The scenes remind you of various films like ChakDe India, Natpe Thunai (infact Bigil runs the same way hip-hop Thamizha does), Kennedy club etc.
Vijay and his screen presence is the biggest selling point. He graces the role of both the gangster father and the football coach effectively. His emotions are balanced and mature, the interaction of Rayappan with Bigl over a drink being the best. However, he needs to control the voice modulation and avoid the repetitive dance steps.
There is a reason for adding Jackie Shroff. No other aged actor can accept a role where he has to go through an embarrasing scene with just his underwear. Nayanthara is cute and has some good scenes in the second half. The football players perform well in the talking portions but struggle for that professional football knack. We also have Daniel Balaji, Kathir and Vijayan in short roles and they do their part. Yogi Babu and Vivek add few funny moments.
The film is exaggerated for the mass appeal. Why have such a fake stadium for the match? The cops are jokers here. We are not even shown what happened after Michael murders a dozen at the railway station. The sports action is full of swags and stylish shots...why can't they play normal football?? Even Yogi Babu is a state level football player here (from the physique point of view, though the director justifies adding Indraja (robo shankars daughter) later). Such scenes take away the genuinity of the film.
Technical aspects are good. Ofcourse, editing could have been better. I still think they must have edited a good 20 mins (some scenes shown in the trailer was missing) Cinematography by GK Vishnu is excellent espcially the action shots and songs. But poor VFX spoil the clarity in several football shots. AR Rahman comes up with an interesting BGM after a long time. The songs are shot well, Bigil Bigilumma being the surprise.
Bigil has taken an humongous opening across the country, thanks to the marketing tactics and fans frenzy in the social media. As a package, Bigil has all elements for a mass film and might appeal to all segments. It can end up as the biggest grosser this year in Tamil probably. It also delivers the women empowerment message very well. But as a sports film, it falls short. Just wished it had less hyperbole and more genuine moments.