Director: Lokesh Kanagaraj
Music director: Anirudh Ravichander
Cast: Kamal Haasan, Vijay Sethupathi, Fahadh Faasil, Narain
Synopsis: An odd-man out finds himself on the hit list of a vigilante group that is after enablers of the drug mafia. However, the person's relevance comes as a surprise in the scheme of things.
Pure and undiluted action films have started losing their sheen in Tamil cinema as some have mistaken that hard-hitting movies can be birthed only by negating high-octane action. Lokesh Kanagaraj and Kamal Haasan have proved this notion wrong in a dashing fashion.
Vikram opens in a Hitchcockian-style slew of murders by unidentified men as a "statement" to law enforcement. The lawbreakers upon discovering their nemesis in the events that follow, set a full-blown war in motion. The film despite lacking a nuanced story makes up for it with appealing stunt choreography and human emotions.
Kamal, playing Vikram, is the biggest positive of the film. At 67, and coming after Covid-19 infection & surgery, he performed some breathtaking fights. The veteran stepping back a bit to have Fahadh and Vijay Sethupathi on the centre stage is worth laurels. Emotional scenes with his grandson are a welcome respite from action scenes and saves him from being a unidimensional character.
Vijay Sethupathi's Sandhanam takes us back to Bhavani on several occasions. Luckily, that doesn't get platitudinal. His voice modulation owing to drug usage sounds fresh and adds to his invidiousness. Fahadh Faasil though with relatively lesser show-stealing scenes never gets oblivious.
Kudos to directors Rathna Kumar and Lokesh Kanagaraj for being earthy with the dialogues. Except for a lengthy line on revenge, which too isn't trite, Vikram moves with quotidian conversations. Lokesh's love for old song recall is getting better with each movie guaranteeing whistle-worthy moments.
Female characters, like in every other Lokesh Kanagaraj movie, don't manage to impress except a maidservant character. The director, aware of his strength in the world of men and crime, sticks to it not trying to get experimental with it.
On the downside, no matter how arresting a film is being made, a run time close to three hours undercuts the purpose. Lokesh, with the duration, digresses to his 'Master' mistake. The family-baiting trope gets overused and the methods it is being done isn't amusing enough.
The colour tone employed is interesting and pale shades of yellow resounds with a bleak world fraught with crimes. The happy moments in the past Vikram holds close to his heart are on the brighter side. The alternating colour patterns evoke the required emotion.
Anirudh Ravichander's background score gives a premonition of the scenes to follow and elevates it. It is fun to see Kamal back in his Alwarpetta Andava days with hip steps in Pathala Pathala.
Lokesh Kanagaraj has pulled off making multi-starrer his forte by delivering a blockbuster in every sense of the term. Suriya's cryptic role and the lead to a sequel is better under the wraps. Kollywood owes this Guru-Sishyan (Kamal and Lokesh) pair big time for ending the industry's rough patch in recent times.