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Leo Movie Review: Violent But Not Brilliant

Leo Movie Review: Violent But Not Brilliant

Movie: Leo
Rating: 2.5/5
Seven Screen Studio
Cast: Thalapathy Vijay, Sanjay Dutt, Trisha, Arjun, Gautham Vasudev Menon, Mysskin, Mansoor Ali Khan, Priya Anand, and others
Dialogues: Ratnakumar
Music: Anirudh Ravichander
DOP: Manoj Paramahamsa
Action: Anbariv
Editor: Philomin Raj
Art: N. Sathees Kumar
Producer: Lalit Kumar
Written & Directed by: Lokesh Kanagaraj
Release Date: Oct 19, 2023

Lokesh Kanagaraju is the most happening director in the Tamil film industry now. His previous film "Vikram" set numerous records. It's no surprise that his second collaboration with Thalapathy Vijay generated a lot of hype. Among this weekend's releases, "Leo" has generated the most advance sales in both India and abroad.

Is the movie really worth all the hype? Let us find out.

Parthiban (Vijay) lives in Himachal Pradesh with his wife (Trisha) and two children. In a little town, he owns a coffee shop. When a band of rowdies misbehaves at his coffee shop one day, Parthiban kills them to protect his daughter.

Clearly agitated by his violent side, Parthiban works hard to get out of this incident. Furthermore, the arrival of Antony Das (Sanjay Dutt) to his place, claiming to be Parthiban's father, complicates matters. Antony Das further says that Parthiban is Leo Das who is concealing his true identity.

Is Leo actually Parthiban or Antony Das's son?

Artistes’ Performances:
Vijay has given an excellent performance. Accepting the role of father to a teen son and a pre-teen daughter without any traditional duets is a significant step for Vijay as a star and actor. He played the guy in his 40s throughout and is fantastic in emotional outburst sequences.

Sanjay Dutt does a neat job though his role lacks strength. Arjun Sarja's role is likewise subpar. Trisha's portrayal of a wife who is suspicious of her husband's history is good.

Technical Excellence:
Anbariv, the action choreographer team, has proven themselves yet again. The café fight in the first half and the chase action in the second half are expertly handled.

Anirudh Ravichander's background score is once again enthralling.

The cinematography by Manoj Paramhamsa is superb. Technically, the film is of the highest calibre.

Action stunts
Couple of episodes

Repetitiveness of Lokesh’s past films
Excessive violence
Lack of strong conflict

The plot of "Leo" is reminiscent of many Indian films, as many of them were inspired by the Hollywood film "A History of Violence." At the start of this film, director Lokesh Kanagarj stated that the film is also inspired by that Hollywood action drama.

So, for visual appeal, filmmaker Lokesh Kangaraj selected Himachal Pradesh's snowy backdrop (really shot on location in Kashmir). This has contributed to the film's freshness in the beginning portions.

When it comes to the story, screenplay, and scenes, everything falls flat. Only three key episodes occur in the first half: Vijay's struggle with a Hyna, Vijay's family life, and an attack at Café. The second half contains three more episodes as well as three prolonged action blocks. Action sequences dominate both halves of the film. So the never-ending violence gets monotonous.

Even the supposed twist involving an actress in the second half has little impact. It lacks emotional resonance. The ultimate confrontation between Arjun Sarja and Vijay is utterly ridiculous.

The much-touted LCU (Lokesh Cinematic Universe) creates the impression that the director is simply repeating himself. The Napoleon figure from "Khaidi" reappears. A character from "Vikram" also makes an appearance. But they don’t add much excitement.

As previously stated, what succeeds in the film are a couple of action sequences and Vijay's acting. The flashback sequences and the badly constructed characters detract from the proceedings. 

Despite the extreme violence and heavy score, "Vikram" and "Khaidi" had genuine exhilarating moments and were mainly compelling. In this case, it is entirely dependent on technical prowess and Vijay's stardom.

However, despite encountering numerous fluctuations, it possesses aspects that resonate with the younger audience, owing to its action sequences, atmosphere, and modern approach to filmmaking.

Bottom line: Repetitive


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