“Vikram,” by far, is one of the best high-octane masala entertainers to have been released this year. Released on the big screen on June 3rd, 2022, the film has been streaming on Disney+ Hotstar since July 8th, 2022. The story, the character development, action sequences, the direction, the performances, and, of course, the music; all of this and a lot of other elements stand out. Lokesh Kanakaraj, who gave us the Vijay starrer Master, is back again to deliver a tale of vigilantes out to get drug peddlers, smugglers, suppliers, and police officers linked to the drug mafia.
The screenplay and story-wise, the film is shoddy, but the execution of the two is what makes the film one of the best masala thrillers to have been released on the big screen. This film is surely an upgraded and better film than “Master.” “Vikram” is also far more articulate regarding the treatment of the story than “Master.”
The Story Of ‘Vikram’
“Vikram” is based on the 1986 film of the same name starring Kamal Hassan and is a tale of an Indian intelligence agent hired to head a super-secret group, Operation Black Squad, that does undercover missions and eliminates the targets. “Vikram” is a sequel to this film, but since not a lot of non-Tamil audiences have watched it, many are unaware of the instances that happened in the film or if there are any callbacks to the older film in this one.
The film begins with a vigilante group seemingly making a gruesome video of a murder they are committing of Karnan (Kamal Hassan), the father of narcotics officer Prabanjan (Kalidas Jayaram), who was also brutally murdered by the same group in the same manner. Police Chief Jose (Chemban Vinod Jose) hires Amar (Fahadh Faasil), the lead of the current Black Squad group, to find out the link between the murders of the police officers and Karnan’s murder, which had nothing to do with the drug mafia. As Amar digs deeper into the investigation he finds that the vigilante group who are unstoppable at this point, have vowed to kill more people related to the drug mafia headlined by Sandhanam (Vijay Sethupathi), his family, his associates, and his boss, Rolex.
The drug mafia is behind a bunch of missing containers that had raw materials that would help Sandhanam produce cocaine on a massive scale. The container, which was stolen by a bunch of police officers, and acquaintances of the murdered colleagues, go on a murder spree and kill the associates of the drug ring, eliminating them one by one. By the midpoint of the film, it is revealed that Karnan is Vikram, who faked his death at the beginning of the film and took the police and Amar’s team on a cat and mouse chase. As it turns out, Vikram is not the adopted father of deceased Narcotics officer Prabhanjan but his biological father, whom he had to keep away owing to the security threat to both of them.
Amar’s investigation reveals that the police team that hired him to catch the vigilante group are the ones who are tied up with the drug mafia spearheaded by Sandhanam and his boss, Rolex. The cat and mouse chase resumes in the second half and has Police Chief Jose and Sandhanam’s team running out of time to capture Vikram and his teammates, who’s next target is Sandhanam. In the climax Vikram is cornered by Sandhanam’s team, but eventually managed to nab Sandhanam and finish off his team, which consists of his siblings. Amar, who initially catches Bejoy of Vikram’s team, loathes the vigilante work they do, and is forced to contemplate his choices soon after his wife is brutally murdered.
As Amar joins Vikram’s team to not just seek revenge but with an understanding that the drug mafia needs to be tackled head-on, Amar seeks the police chief, Jose, and brutally murders him. Sandhanam is charred to death along with the tons of raw material for cocaine by Vikram and his team.
‘Vikram’ Ending Explained – What Happened To Rolex?
The film ends with Amar’s transition from an honest intelligence officer to a man on a hunt to seek revenge with Vikram’s team. Vikram keeps track of his grandson’s well-being and seeks out Rolex, a maniacal drug lord. Rolex, played by Suriya, is a character revealed to stage a sequel to Vikram. Rolex is livid over the destruction of the raw material in Chennai, along with the murder of his associates. He announces the bounty on Vikram while the last shot has Vikram hiding amongst the crowd, indicating Rolex’s plan might not work as Vikram is already among his people and it will be hard to find him.
The climax of Vikram is as predictable as any other action entertainer out there. The hero always wins, even though he is injured or out of breath. He always has the last laugh while he sees the villain die in front of his eyes. But what made Vikram’s climax extraordinary is the scale at which Lokesh Kanakarajan mounted a wafer-thin story and delivered a mind-blowing action sequence, which has guns blazing from every corner, older revolvers being used, vintage cannon guns being fired, and the overall setup of the dramatic face-off between Sandhanam and Vikram. Anirudh Ravichander’s brilliant music adds another layer to the film, making the viewing experience on a small screen exhilarating.
This 8-minute climactic scene has all the punches that every action entertainer ought to have. Vikram, on the quest to save his grandson, goes miles to eliminate Sandhanam and his gang, who have cornered him. The climax is easily one of the best action sequences executed in an Indian film of this genre. Not that it is right to compare, but the overhyped Hindi cinema has a long way to go in terms of delivering a brilliant action thriller entertainer, which is a wholesome package of good performances, terrific dialogues, effective cinematography, music, editing, and BGM. The film might lack a good story, but the screenplay does join the dots effectively for the audience to understand the climax. Director Lokesh Kanakarajan did not leave any stone unturned when it came to showcasing brutality.
The climactic sequence involving Suriya in a cameo as the drug lord Rolex was something the audience anticipated because Kamal Hassan, the producer of the film, had announced his cameo to the public shortly after the trailer’s release. One needs to appreciate the director and the action direction for delivering gut-wrenching, gory action sequences without worrying about the censor cuts. It was a relief to see such well-choreographed action scenes, which not only satisfy a section of the audience who enjoy action thriller films but also the audiences who usually don’t enjoy films of that genre.
Despite a story that has many plot holes and suspension of disbelief topping that, it is a well-made action thriller entertainer. The film needs to be appreciated for Lokesh’s direction. Lokesh grabbed the attention of the cine-goers through Kaithi and Master, and with “Vikram,” he delivered one of the finest pieces of cinema.