Disclaimer: This post will not be a proper review since I don´t understand any Tamil and it was screened without subtitles. But nonetheless I got most of the story, especially since Aegan is sort of a remake of Main Hoon Na.
As you can read, I did eventually manage to get a ticket. And so I had a blast watching this years big Diwali release with a Tamil crowd. I still have to confess that I would have preferred to watch the new Surya release but since Ayngaran, the producer of Aegan, seemed to have blocked most of the screens for the Diwali weekend, the Vaaranam Aayiram makers decided to move its release to November 14th.
From my point of view it seems like a good plan from Ayngaran to overkill with screens on this release, since judging from the reaction of the audience, the film left most of them pretty cold. So I don´t think word-of-mouth is going to be too good. The audience´s enthusiasm cooled down from a huge cheer Ajith got for his first scene to people starting to leave while the climax fight was still on. In the end everybody just wanted to get out as fast as they could. People seemed not to hate it, they just looked unaffected.
However, I still had lots of fun. Btw. Aegan is not a 1:1 clone of MHN. There are some more or less significant changes in the story. Not all are for the best I am afraid.
Aegan tells the story of a CBI Special Ops Super Agent called Shiva who gets called in by his boss (and father) to protect the daughter of a criminal-turned-key witness. Since said former-crook went AWOL after an attempt for his life through his former partner in crime, the CBI hopes to catch him when he contacts his daughter. So Shiva is forced to go undercover as a student in her boarding school in Ooty. It takes a while and some rope-action fights for Shiva to befriend Pooja (Piaa Bajpai) and her boyfriend Narain (Navdeep). Life gets even more complicated for our hero when he falls head over heals for his beautiful, very sparsely clad chemistry teacher Mallika (Nayantara) who not seems to be at the very least interested. Oh and there is the (very far on the) side-story of Shiva´s adoptive mother and brother who happen to be living in Ooty as well.
So you see. Pretty close but not a clone. And since even the filmmakers openly(!) acknowledged a close relation between those to two movies, why not compare MHN and Aegan
Action. Aegan has a lot of more blood and some very cool wire-action fights. But it sadly misses the cycle-riksha chase. Tie. 1:1
Comedy. The comedy track with the school principal and the weird teachers is equally nice in both film. Aegan has a comedy side kick for Shiva and he´s fun. One Point for Aegan 1:2
Romance. Sush and SRK sizzle. And the heartbreak of Sanjana due to Lucky´s insensitiveness. Her makeover. Lucky´s makeover. MHN has it all. In Aegan the romance between Pooja and Narain is already established and Shiva and his chemistry teacher don´t sizzle. They annoy each other and unfortunately us as well. MHN un point 2:2
Emotional highlights. SRK standing in front of his brother and stepmother with the urn of his father is heartbreaking filmi greatness. Aegan completely wastes that opportunity. We get a so-so flashback very late in the movie and no confrontation whatsoever in present time. We only see the happily reunited family right after the climax fight for 2 seconds. Bas. Another point for MHN 3:2
Songs. Farah Khan managed to fit all of the songs in MHN perfectly into the story (even the item-song-wali ones) Raju Sundaram doesn´t. Also I love "Chale Jaise Hawaien" and I don´t love "Yahoo Yahoo" Not even shooting on of the songs in Switzerland saves Aegan loosing that point to MHN. 4:2
Hero. SRK vs. Ajith. Tough one. But then. Not really tough. Sorry Ajith, as much as I like you and as much as I am not a hardcore SRK Fan. Major Ram Prasad Sharma is so taking that point from CID Special Agent Shiva. 5:2
Heroine. No-brainer. Sush and Amrita Rao. Every time. 6:2
MHN also gets one point each for technical execution, script execution and the overall "tribute to filmy history" theme.
Final Result. 9:2
A landslide victory for Main Hoon Na. Aegan is a wasted chance. It would probably not be so obvious if it was an original story but so it is but a MHN minus the heart. Following more closely to the MHN script might have made a terrific Kollywood film. Pity.
All pictures copyright Ayngaran.