Lokesh Kanagaraj is one of those writer-directors who is known for making exceptionally entertaining films, often called the ‘masala’ potboilers. But his films have an attractive quality, and they are not necessarily ‘bad,’ artistically speaking. Sure, his films have larger-than-life characters, but his writing always gives them a strong emotional core, which is why his films become relatable and enjoyable. His new film Leo is another one in his ‘Lokesh Cinematic Universe’ where we see Thalapathy Vijay in his well-known action avatar. There are Sanjay Dutt and Arjun Sarja, who play the Das brothers in the film and act as Vijay’s nemesis in the film. Once Antony Das and his brother Harold figure that Leo, Antony’s son, may still be alive and living as Parthiban in Shimla, they pay him a visit to uncover the truth and settle the scores once and for all. Sanjay Dutt as Antony is menacing to look at, and Arjun does a decent job playing Harold. Here is a closer look at their characters:
Sanjay Dutt As Antony Das
Dutt is one of those actors whose screen presence is so impressive that he literally seems to cast a spell around you with just his eyes. Here he had to bring his A-game against Thalapathy Vijay, and sure enough, he did. His introduction to the story comes at a point where it seems Parthiban had gained notoriety for killing the hitmen, whose only error was to irk Pathirban and his family. He was living a mundane life in Shimla, but that one event was the beginning of an avalanche, which would reconnect Antony with whom he thought was his son Leo. Parthiban was adamant that Antony was mistaking him for Leo, but his eyes were unforgettable, both to Antony and Harold.
Antony is a strange character. He and Harold ran a tobacco plant in Tamil Nadu, and he had amassed huge wealth, much of which was from the illegal sale of the drug ‘Dhatura,’ which he mixed in with his tobacco. When the product was seized by the police, an insider suggested Antony turn in one member of the gang so the police could save face and help him as well. Antony had made up his mind to turn in his son Leo, but Leo was a maverick at his core, who decided to kill the policemen and bring back the seized product. This was sure to cause a huge problem for Antony and Harold, and they could no longer trust Leo.
Another turning point was when the issue of the sacrifice came up. You see, Antony believed that he had to sacrifice an animal, a ritual he thought brought him success. He had upgraded from animals to humans, as he wanted his wealth to multiply. When Antony needed a person for the sacrifice who had to match the criteria required for a successful sacrifice, Leo and his twin sister Elisa’s names came up. After a long discussion with Harold and voting on who to sacrifice (as both Leo and Elisa were perfect for the ritual), he chose Elisa. Leo was convinced that Antony had gone insane and tried to burn the factory down. Harold, the merciless uncle, killed Elisa when Leo burned the seized Dhatura as well. Antony had to shoot Leo, and he was left dead in the burning factory. How he survived and became Parthiban was the question he was curious to find the answer to. Perhaps that’s why he didn’t hesitate to travel all the way to Shimla and confront Parthiban himself. He was amused to see him alive, more than anything else. Antony was the kind of father who could see no harm being done to his son, except if he was the one doing the damage. Antony had protected Parthiban’s family from goons during his short stay in Shimla, which goes to show that revenge wasn’t on his mind. He just wanted Parthiban to accept that he was Leo, which he never did. His story came to a fitting end when he was killed by Parthiban, and surely he was convinced in the end that he was being killed by his own son, whom he had shot twenty years ago.
Arjun Sarja As Harold
The other half of the butchering brothers was Harold Das, who was equally deadly, if not more. He had killed Elisa and countless other innocent people just out of the impulse to settle scores. When Parthiban did not accept that he was Leo, Harold kidnapped his son Siddharth. He forced Parthiban to leave his sanctuary in Shimla and come to his den in Tamil Nadu, where his plan was to bring him to his knees and make him confess. With Antony gone, he wouldn’t have hesitated to murder Parthiban, but Parthiban was a step ahead. He had set up traps in his house, and there was Ranger Joshi to protect Parthiban’s wife Sathya, and daughter Chintu.
Parthiban tried to show all the proof that he wasn’t Leo. Harold’s pet eagle too remembered Leo from ages ago, but he didn’t accept it. The confession came only when Harold was on his knees, begging to be spared. Harold’s plan to make Parthiban come to Tamil Nadu had backfired. He killed all his men, and Joshi took care of the others in Shimla. Before killing Harold, Parthiban accepted that Antony had correctly identified him as Leo, and it was time both the brothers met their maker. He had already killed Antony, and now it was Harold’s turn. The revenge was complete. Leo wasn’t able to save Elisa, and finally, the weight was off his back. Harold, who managed almost the entire Das tobacco operation and the illegal drug trade, was dead, and there was no one to carry his legacy. Leo was ecstatic, and he returned to his family. Would someone return to avenge the Das brothers? There was a man named Vikram who contacted Leo, AKA Parthiban, in the end, who may just visit Shimla and have a word as to why he killed his father and his uncle.