Aayirathil Oruvan ★★★½

your mileage will vary, i guess, based on your relationship to mgr's cult of personality and the significant real life political implications of his stardom (also true to an extent of female lead jyalalithaa); a lot of this movie is dedicated just to painting mgr as the Perfect Leader of Men.

that said this is a superior swashbuckling adventure film, with mgr's saintly doctor leading his fellow men from captivity to triumph over various tyrant figures; you get searing color, wildly artificial sets, more than credible sword fighting action, boat to boat combat, and wonderful soundtrack that culminates in the genuinely iconic "adho andha paravai pola" (directly quoted in selvaraghavan's 2010 film also titled aayirathil oruvan), in which a valiant crew chants in unison towards the imminent triumph over tyranny.