Sruthi Ganapathy Raman
In films like Anniyan (2005), the writing in the flashback is so good that it not only explains the trauma that changes its hero, but it also creates a larger, intangible villain that is beyond any one person or group: the villain here is a corrupt mindset.
Nothing is random in an Atlee flashback. Mersal begins with the rousing ‘Aalaporan Thamizhan’, which introduces Vetrimaaran and registers his place in his community. But the song is more than an intro.
Atlee seems to have a bias towards his flashbacks, and it’s evident in the effort that goes behind its writing. In Theri, Vijaykumar and Mithra’s relationship isn’t just developed over an attraction.
Atlee picks the final moments of a character, which is also the last few minutes of the flashback, to build an entirely new life for the protagonists. The final wish is crucial in an Atlee film.
Shah Rukh Khan carries various looks in the film, but the main ones seem to be of army officer Vikram Rathore and a ravenous bald SRK who scares off passengers in the metro.