The pattern the director relied on to balance action and humour misfired in crucial sequences
Last Updated: 05.19 AM, Apr 14, 2022
Vijay in Beast
Story: A group of terrorists hijack a mall and hold around 200 people captive. They demand the release of a dreaded terrorist. When the government and security agency scratch their heads over taking an appropriate decision, they learn that a former RAW agent is also stuck in the mall. They pin hopes on his smartness and impressive track record. Will he be able to save the people?
Review: The trailer of Beast provided a glimpse into what viewers can expect from this hostage thriller. This is perhaps the first time a leading Tamil hero attempts the genre, at least in a while. The disadvantage with the genre when a huge commercial star headlines it is the limitations which come along in terms of the protagonist's 'work space'. But all it takes is an entertaining screenplay to engage the audience. What made many curious was the manner in which Nelson is going to approach the plot in his style, mixing action and black humour.
It is unlikely that fans of Vijay and other sets of audience would accept a story in which a huge star like him gets confined to a limited space. Nelson is aware of the fact that it requires additional moments and situations which can tap Vijay's screen presence and his ease in action and dance sequences.
Thus, he is introduced as RAW agent Veera Raghavan in Indo-Pak border fighting against terrorists as part of a mission, before the core plot of mall hijack begins. The director also incorporates a sequence to ensure that the sensational song Arabic Kuthu is placed much before things get complicated.
The outcome of Veera's mission which he took up in the border affects him emotionally because of which he quits the profession. An unexpected meeting with Preethi (Pooja Hegde) at a wedding lands him a security job in a mall. But the mall gets hijacked by a group of terrorists.
They demand the release of a menacing terrorist and hold around 200 people captive. Althaf Hussain (Selvaraghavan), an efficient security advisor is in charge of negotiating with terrorists. Meanwhile, a cunning politician who staged the hostage crisis, is worried about his plans turning out to be futile with the presence of Veera in the mall. How is Veera going to save the people?
The plot has ample scope for delivering action scenes and showcasing clap-worthy heroic moments. The stylishly choreographed action episodes featuring Vijay offer various whistle-worthy moments for his die-hard fans. Anbariv's stunt choreography and cinematography by Manoj Paramahamsa elevate the screen presence of Vijay.
Fans of the star are in for a treat watching him in the scenes where he wields different kinds of weapon to vanquish the baddies. Anirudh's electrifying background score is another positive aspect of the movie. The combination of Nelson-Anirudh and Vijay-Anirudh have managed to meet the gargantuan expectations for the third time.
Jani's dance choreography is another element which is sure to leave the audience satiated. Vijay dances like a dream in Arabic Kuthu song and his fast-paced moves turn out to be his best in recent years. Kiran's art direction, too, deserves mention; be it the neatly erected mall set or the convincing places at the Indo-Pak border, the believability factor complements the narration.
All said and done, the movie does have flaws that are quite obvious. The limited space in the mall acts as a constraint after a point, and the proceedings become repetitive. Except for a few engaging one-liners from Selvaraghavan and VTV Ganesh, other actors have little to do.
The supposedly funny conversations between Yogi Babu and Redin Kingsley are below par and fail to create laughs. Some of the successful comedians who brought the house down in the director's last outing, Doctor, couldn't match their previous performances.
The way the filmmaker tried to balance action and humour misfired in most of the instances.
Had the film been an uncompromising action thriller, it would have been a one-of-its-kind experience. The female lead character, unsurprisingly, is underwritten. The unimpressive VFX is another let down, something which was unexpected from a big ticket film bankrolled by a leading production house.
Nelson, who made heads turn with the right mix of humour, suspense and action in Kolamavu Kokila and Doctor, couldn't repeat the magic he came up with in those two films. Beast has enough elements required to impress fans of Vijay, but the movie falls short of expectations.
Verdict: Vijay's terrific screen presence and Anirudh's pulsating background score save the film to an extent.