Star Cast: Kamal Haasan, Vijay Sethupathi & Fahadh Faasil Stir A Mad Tsunami As Lokesh Kanagaraj Creates Yet Another Blazing Spectacle
Director: Lokesh Kanagaraj
What’s Good: A mad tsunami of talent is approaching you faster than you think, and you need to surrender. Also, high time people across the country start taking Lokesh Kanagaraj seriously, man got style none can resist.
What’s Bad: There is brutal violence and that can bother some. But after a point, it also gets a bit repetitive and you are left thinking ‘this could have been avoided’.
Loo Break: There’s Haasan, Sethupathi, and Faasil on the big screen, is nature’s call more important to you than their magic at this point?
Watch or Not?: Please watch. The three stars definitely put on an amazing show but moreover one must acknowledge Kanagaraj and his gest to stay true to his amazing style.
Language: Tamil & Hindi (with subtitles in selected theatres)
Available On: Theatrical release
Runtime: 174 Minutes
Lokesh Kanagaraj’s idea to make an universe out of his films expands with Vikram. The movie begins where Kaithi ends. Two containers full of costly drugs go missing. the local Pablo Escobar, Santhanam (Vijay) is hell bent on finding it. Amid this is a group of masked killers killing people who have something in common. The police hire a shadow gang to find them out and the drama unfolds.
Of course there are flaws, but one has to give writer director Lokesh Kanagaraj the due credits for being one of the most experimental filmmakers while staying true to his roots. Back to back actions sagas including Master, but all different from each other. Call it cherry on the cake, he gets to direct his ideal Kamal Haasan this time and he writes an unapologetic love letter to him with the film.
There is style, unimaginable action sequences, emotions, mysteries, suspense and all of this performed by some of the most talented actors Indian houses right now. I know every review will write at length about the massy appeal of the story and how Lokesh excels in giving yet another Tarantinoish saga but with a new soul. But what is actually to be praised here is the filmmaker marrying commercial elements to content based structure.
For example, look how he structures the film. Kamal Haasan has the mass appeal and even a glimpse of his eyes in the opening sequence had the entire hall roaring (a 7:00 am show was houseful). So in the first half where you are fresh and all attentive, he makes his selling point a mystery, and lets the other two amazing actors Fahadh and Vijay solve him. It’s almost like Kanagaraj understands the biggest risk of hiring three massive stars and makes a conscious effort to make them all shine. Such a treat.
The second half is where the filmmaker unleashes his Lion. Kamal Haasan takes over and the rest two kind of take the back seat. Remember I called it a love letter to the Ulaga Nayagan? You can see it here. The narrative entirely worships Haasan as he goes back to Vikram after decades and takes over from the filmmaker’s Kaithi. It is such an amazing way to create indulging and personal cinema.
The script does falter a bit when it loses its grip in between the multiple action sequences and you want them to end soon. The women still continue to be the oppressed gender in Kanagaraj’s world. There is one who rises above and shine, I will take that as a small step in the right direction.
Do I even need to elaborate how prolific the cast is, aren’t the names enough? Kamal Haasan is back in action after a very rough patch and it only makes me happy that the actor accepts his age on screen. He still has the panache to beat 100 men single handed and you won’t even question.
Fahadh Faasil gets to play the most interesting part as he transforms with the movie. There is a journey to his submission to the lawless justice and when you have an actor of Faasil’s calibre it only becomes hauntingly beautiful. He plays an undercover officer who is ruthless but with a frame that might not intimidated a child maybe. And that’s where the real power lies.
Vijay Sethupathi can play a table and you will pay to watch him do it. The man plays a baddie yet again and brings so much to a character that could also have been caricatured. Don’t want to spoil anything for you. Witness it yourself.
Lokesh Kanagaraj deserves all the appreciation coming his way. He creates a spectacle from every dimension and make sure his world looks real and you surrender to his vision. The best part is how he treats all his characters as the heroes of their parts and even Arjun Das in a brief appearance gets a warm welcome.
Anirudh Ravicahnder only knows how to outdo himself. The music hooks you and doesn’t leave. So does the cinematography by Girish Gangadharan. I am living for his Arial shots.
The Last Word
Vikram is a mass entertainer that does not alienate the ones who try to find meat in a film. There is enough to attract you to the theatres and it is all worth. Go book your tickets.