So, the most hyped movie of 2023, Leo has been watched. Leo is an action extravaganza movie that has lots to love and little to pick
I have been critical of Vijay as an actor for a long as the movies that showcase his acting ability are very few. Leo will be one of the few movies where we get to see the actor Vijay in full flow. Vijay as Parthiban is an interesting character that Vijay has portrayed. He is a seemingly innocent man in the eyes of common folks but there are more layers to the character if you dig deep, Vijay effortlessly pulls off this role with a gentle stare that makes us continuously question if he’s an innocent guy or not. Vijay gets ample space to perform and he does well. My favourite performance of Vijay after Kaththi.
Lokesh Kanagaraj has had exponential growth in his career with back-to-back movies with giants of the industry. Leo is Lokesh’s playground where he has moulded Vijay into a new toy and has had a ride with it. There are tinges of old Vijay mannerism that doesn’t always appeal to the audience is present in it but regardless it’s fresh to see Vijay in a partially restrained role as a middle-aged common man with a family and kids. Here’s a note to not compare Lokesh with his contemporaries like Atlee or Nelson, Lokesh is cut above the rest. The rest slack off a lot and lack the conviction or the vision that Lokesh has.
Lokesh who has been very much vocal about his love for action has placed numerous action sequences throughout the movie. While his passion and conviction to present something new is laudable, it does get tiring towards the latter half. There are flaws in his writing which we will visit later.
Anirudh is a gift that keeps giving, especially for Vijay fans. Even though he claims himself to be a Rajini fan, his work reaches a whole new level when he works for Vijay. Leo is another excellent outing where Music amps up the scene so much. There are 3 new songs in the movie and all of them do their jobs perfectly and the songs that already were released have been used effectively. Just wish he reduced his singing and explored more. I am not knowledgeable enough to comment on other technical aspects of the movie. From a layman’s perspective, the camera work was exceptional. Special mention to the Hyena sequence which was shot fantastically, just wish the same had been the case with a similar VFX sequence in the second half.
Among the ensemble cast, only Trisha and GVM get good screen time. While Trisha does a decent job, GVM has done his routine job, whether it’s good or bad relies on if you like GVM the actor or not. Sanjay Dutt and Arjun have a daunting screen presence and look menacing but their characters are weakly written due to which the menacing look and presence don’t transcend to us.
On to the negatives, the movie is very much predictable. There are hardly any surprises in the movie which the runtime as well becomes a cause for concern, especially in the second half. Lokesh is cut above the rest I said but there are still writing skills to be honed. The second half looks hurried and lags a bit and with the flashback being really poor and ineffective, it pulls the movie even down.
𝗢𝘃𝗲𝗿𝗮𝗹𝗹, 𝗮 𝘀𝗼𝗹𝗶𝗱 𝗮𝗰𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗲𝗿𝘁𝗮𝗶𝗻𝗲𝗿 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝘄𝗶𝗹𝗹 𝗯𝗲 𝗮 𝗰𝗲𝗹𝗲𝗯𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗩𝗶𝗷𝗮𝘆 𝗳𝗮𝗻𝘀 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗮 𝗱𝗲𝗰𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗲𝗿𝘁𝗮𝗶𝗻𝗲𝗿 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝘁𝗵𝗼𝘀𝗲 𝘄𝗵𝗼 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝗻𝗼𝘁.
P.S.: I really want to write more about Vijay as the Parthiban character. Restraining now to avoid spoilers, will write after a week.