The film’s central plot follows a somewhat traditional trajectory, reminiscent of many Indian films and works like “A History of Violence,” adapted from a graphic novel by John Wagner. Nevertheless, director Lokesh, in collaboration with his team of screenwriters, skillfully injects a dose of rejuvenating suspense into the storyline with brilliantly executed twists and turns. It’s worth noting that the flashback segments seemed rushed and unconvincing, which affected the second half, and the pacing of the first half could have benefited from some tightening, particularly the over-budget hyena sequence.
To avoid revealing any spoilers, I’ll conclude my thoughts here.
Vijay delivers a commendable performance in both his roles. Although his appearance as Parthiban, a character in his forties, may not be exceptional, it is still acceptable and his acting is good. His portrayal of Leo, on the other hand, looks good but doesn’t offer much to act on due to its short duration.
Trisha didn’t get a meaty role, but as always, she delivers a fantastic performance, radiating beauty even in a role that requires her to play a woman in her 40s and the mother of a teenager. Her on-screen chemistry with Vijay is superb, a real treat for their fans.
Sanjay Dutt’s presence in the film is decent, even if his acting doesn’t quite match the overall caliber of the cast. Arjun Sarja’s role is actually useless, but his looks and acting are good.
The supporting cast does their best, contributing to the overall quality of the film. Priya Anand and Anurag Kashyap are underutilized.
The action sequences are well executed and visually appealing. The cinematography presents moments of extraordinary brilliance, even if it falls short in some areas. The songs may not be remarkable, but the background music is particularly strong. The locations, sets and costumes of the film are well done, while the VFX work could have been more refined.
Lokesh’s direction deserves credit for steering the film in a positive direction, but he should work on his writing.
In summary, I recommend experiencing this film in theaters to fully appreciate the cinematic journey it offers. #LCU.
This would have worked well as a standalone piece, if you ask me! [+62%]
arungeorge13October 19, 2023
On the bright side, we get…
One of Vijay’s finest performances (not as a star, but as an actor): The first half is full of moments where Vijay showcases his emotions as a father, husband, cafe owner and animal lover .
The writing of the first half: Superb, even if it is a story of violence contextualized for Tamil sensibilities. Each scene has a decent tempo and the developments make you sit up. The whole hyena angle is beautifully executed and its payoff in the climax is wonderful. The placement of the title card is a nice creative touch on Lokesh’s part.
Brilliant cinematography: Manoj Paramahamsa’s frames capture the Kashmir locations wonderfully (even though the film is set “in Theog, Himachal Pradesh) with Parthipan’s (Vijay) cafe looking remarkably aesthetically pleasing in this early fight sequence. When the film becomes rich in action, the use of the Mocobot camera is taken advantage of.
A pretty solid supporting cast: whether it’s Trisha (who looks absolutely dashing), Gautham Menon, Arjun Sarja, Sanjay Dutt or Mathew Thomas, they deliver what the writing expects two. It’s just that the antagonists (Dutt, Sarja) aren’t fleshed out enough for us to care about their motivations.
Anirudh’s Music: Although I feel like he exaggerated the music a bit in the film, the elevation points (especially a 10-15 minute interval before the interval) are fabulous, thanks to his compositions. Badass Ma was a clear standout, but Naa Ready also worked through the choreography. The English parts of the score were great, and I can’t wait to stream them on Spotify for my practices once the OST is downloaded.
On the less bright side, we get…
A lackluster second half: the entire flashback segment suffers from lukewarm writing. A key character is introduced only to be killed minutes later. The writing doesn’t give us time to register this character, let alone connect emotionally. This then becomes the driving force for the protagonist’s subsequent actions. The whole “identity crisis” aspect wears thin as well, because there’s not much you can do with it. Overall, it’s a 75% Lokesh, 25% Vijay film.
Some cheesy CGI: While this doesn’t hamper the overall visual experience, you will encounter some not-so-great CG work in some parts. This is especially the case in a car chase sequence.
The LCU connection: seemed somewhat inorganic and forced. Given that the film takes place geographically far from the LCU proceedings, I thought it had a better chance as a standalone piece. There are some interesting cameos yes, but nothing that makes you feel like Vikram, or even Kaithi for that matter. Lokesh definitely saved his best for Aandavar.
Intermediate aspect: the masters of Anbariv are quite well known for their innovative designs. I loved the first setting (at the cafe) – it seemed raw and real, with fantastic cuts and no slow motion. There are many more in various places, but only the climactic showdown (which also includes a 1v1 between Vijay and Arjun) sticks out in my mind after leaving the cinema hall.
P.S. – I enjoyed Loki’s homage to Sly Stallone. If you know, you know.
Learn about Tamil cinema making at Hollywood level and the support we have Leo
shaeshatriashwinOctober 22, 2023
Never seen before, a better version of Thalapathy Vijay as a performer, plays the role of an alter ego character – a silent and fearful family man and a feared demon. Totally a 1Man Show!
The extraordinary script, direction and direction of Loki, even though it is a normal storyline, makes it one of the best films in Indian cinema by direction. Hyena VFX and cinematography are fantastic.
Anirudh is the legend who makes this film feel like a Hollywood film, Start to End Anirudh Bgm stuns! The charming Trisha suits her role as Parthi’s wife perfectly
ActionKing Arjun who really carried the character in the second half and Sanjay Dutt, Sandy, Mysskin have Good Scope costumes for their role.
Special mention to all the technicians who really work and fight hard in less cold conditions and some extra problems exist to make a high class film!
Only in Theater: Witness Thalapathy’s quality acting, visuals, direction, background music and direction all in one film, worth watching twice only in sound quality View the theater. IMAX is preferable.
One word Blockbuster or IndustryHit Bloody Sweet LEO!