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Lal Salaam Review: Tiresome Experience

Lal Salaam Review: Tiresome Experience

Movie: Lal Salaam
Rating: 1.5/5
Lyca Productions
Cast: Superstar Rajinikanth, Vishnu Vishal, Vikranth, Senthil, Jeevitha, Thambi Ramaiah, Ananthika Sanilkumar, Vivek Prasanna, Thangadurai and others
Story: Vishnu Rangasamy
Music: A.R. Rahman
Cinematography: Vishnu Rangasamy
Editor: B. Pravin baaskar
Art: Ramu Thangaraj
Choreography: Dinesh
Stunt: Anl Arasu, Kickass Kaali, Stunt Vicky
Producer: Subaskaran
Written and Directed by: Aishwarya Rajinikanth
Release Date: Feb 09, 2024

After delivering the record-breaking blockbuster “Jailer”, Superstar Rajinikanth returned to the silver screen with this new film in which he played an extended guest role.

Let’s find out its merits and demerits.

The story takes place in a village during the 1990s. Samshi (Vikranth), the son of Moideen Bhai (Rajinikanth), and Guru (Vishnu Vishal) are friends. Samshi gets chosen to play for the state's Ranji squad, but first he accepts to participate in a match in their village.

After the competition, a battle breaks out between the two teams, and Samshi's hand is brutally severed. The blame falls on Guru, which causes issues in the village between Muslims and Hindus.

The rest of the story revolves around Moideen resolving the issue and teaching the importance of being together despite their separate religious beliefs.

Artistes’ Performances:
Rajinikanth makes an extended cameo appearance in the film. He plays nearly like a lengthy character. He appears in both halves of the movie. His presence adds to the plot in certain segments where he gives a speech about religious harmony.

Kapil Dev also does a cameo appearance. Vishnu Vishal and Vikranth do justice to their roles.

Technical Excellence:
AR Rahman's music lacks punch. The cinematography is sufficient. The production design complements the film's theme

Rajinikanth’s presence

Old-school narration
Too many elements
Sluggish pace
Lacking emotional connect

"Lal Salaam" means "Red Salute." But you don't understand why the film is named as such, except that we interpret it as a figurative meaning of blood being red in all human beings, regardless of creed. Yes, the film focuses on Hindu-Muslim coexistence and religious tolerance.

The plot also takes place in the early 1990s, just after the Babri Masjid-Ram Mandir dispute. So, it's understandable. But the film is about more than just that; it also discusses Jathara (Hindu festivals), cricket, rural politics, and other issues.

But all of the issues it raises are addressed in an uninteresting manner. The execution of this story is predictable, uninteresting, and occasionally incompetent.

The screenplay is convoluted. At parts, the film explores the hero's dearth of ambition and his incapacity to earn money and be responsible, while at other times it centers on the villagers' struggle to possess their own theru (chariot) rather than relying on borrowing from another village. At several junctures, it discusses religious concord and the value of friendship.

Because all of these elements are inconsistent, the film lacks emotional resonance.

The dialogues delivered by Rajinikanth regarding nationalism and the Indian Muslim community are commendable. But it also turns preachy at times. After a long time Sai Kumar dubbed the voice for Rajnikanth which sounded different as we are used to Mano's voice.

After transitioning from one topic to the next, Aishwarya Rajinikanth includes the "Kantara" element in the end to provide extra "commercial" value. But they don’t seem effective.

Overall, despite its strong message, "Lal Salaam" fails to engage anywhere. The film's sluggish narration and lack of emotional power make for a tiresome watch. The direction is uninteresting, and not even Rajinikanth's star charm can raise the proceedings.

Bottom line: Not engaging


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