‘Vikram’ Review: Disappoints the Hype, Yet Prospers the Theme

Since the day it was announced that Kamal Haasan, Vijay Sethupathi, and Fahadh Faasil were going to share the screen together in a film, “Vikram” has become an escalating hype. It was the multiverse of talented actors. The director, Lokesh Kanagaraj, was thrilled to be part of a project where Kamal Haasan was about to bring himself out of the box almost after five long years. “Vikram” is an action thriller with a gripping plot and some standout performances. From music to cinematography, technically, “Vikram” never disappoints.

“Vikram” is more or less a sequel to ‘Kaithi,’ released in 2019. Lokesh Kanagaraj has already said in a few interviews that he wanted to create a universe, and the first two are “Kaithi” and “Vikram.” So, what actually happens in “Vikram”?

This story relates to drugs and war. At the beginning of the film, it is seen that a group of masked men went on a killing spree. They killed three people, declaring that they were doing this to bring justice to society. Two of them were related to politics, and one was a common man. The police later appointed the ‘Black Squad’ to conduct an intensive search to find the truth behind the masked serial killers. The ‘Black Squad’ was led by Amar (Fahadh Faasil), who came to know that Vikram (Kamal Haasan), the commoner who was killed, was a man with different atrocities. To some, he was a good person, and others had a different perspective on him. In this process, the Black Squad came to know about a man named Santhanam (Vijay Sethupathi), who was producing a large quantity of cocaine. Santhanam was a partially abnormal figure as he was afraid of a higher power named “Rolex” (Surya). The story gets a revolting twist right before intermission.

As the twist reveals, the audience is introduced to a completely different section. Spoiler alert: the common man who was killed at the beginning of the movie, Vikram, was the squad leader of the same Black Squad. He, along with a few others from the 1986–1987 batch, crafted the idea of eradicating all the drug mafias from society. Prabhanjan, son of Vikram, hid the manufacturing materials for cocaine and was killed by Santhanam. Vikram, with other agents, went on to track everyone who was part of this drug mafia. Amar, after coming to realize who Vikram actually was, left the job at the hands of the police and decided to leave the town with his newly married wife. Soon after, Santhanam killed his wife and sought his revenge as Amar destroyed his factory and house with a bomb. Thus, Amar ended up fighting alongside Vikram to destroy Santhanam once and for all. After a period of multiple events, Santhanam was killed with all his drugs, Vikram left for America with his grandson, and Amar carried on with the plan of terminating the drug racket.

Why Should You Watch ‘Kaithi’ Before Watching’ Vikram’?

Directed by Lokesh Kanagaraj, “Kaithi” is said to be the prequel to “Vikram.” Well, if you have not seen “Kaithi,” you should. For many reasons, you should watch “Kaithi” because it is a brilliant movie nonetheless. Now, if you want to know about the links between these two films, well, there are some resounding leads for it.

One of the many links is the Old Commissioners’ Office Building, where it all started. Here the massive amount of cocaine was kept hidden from the drug lord Rolex. Everybody was in search of this place. Even the death of Prabhanjan took place because of this. This death alone triggers the main section of the story, eliminating the involved people in this racket. So, one way or another, the root can not be denied, and here ‘Kaithi’ became the root.

Another relevant point was Special Task Force officer Bejoy Nara. Here in ‘Vikram,’ he was abandoned by the government even after his crucial role in securing the huge amount of cocaine. His wife and daughter were killed too. He now seeks revenge under the mask alongside Vikram. Although there are references to his past, if you watch “Kaithi,” it would help you understand his perspective on revenge pretty well.

Then comes Anbu (Arjun Das) at the end, the main antagonist from “Kaithi,” whose drug was seized by the police. He gathers all of the dealers around him to welcome the drug lord, “Rolex.” Rolex came to know from Anbu and his brother about Kaithi and Vikram, who destroyed his reign completely. Without watching “Kaithi,” you wouldn’t feel the rage of Rolex. The loss of a billion dollars pushed him into a corner where he had to come and take revenge on those who were responsible for this.

‘Vikram’ Is A Technical Masterpiece

How was “Vikram”? Well, to be very honest, it somehow disappoints the hype. It leads to a certain point where the audience will feel like they are lost in the jungle, and there is no one to guide them. Making a film with three big names collaboratively is itself a huge task. Director Lokesh Kanagaraj did everything he could, but in the second half, the essence was somehow lost. The impact of the story was lost long before the climax. But, all in all, Vikram’s work was a technical giant.

Let’s talk about Anirudh for a while. Anirudh is the biggest name in the mass movies of South India. An Anirudh Musical is one of the funkiest things people love to see. In “Vikram,” Anirudh plays with the theme pretty comfortably, as he always does. The ‘Vikram’ theme itself stands out in the whole film. Even when the twist is revealed right before the first half, there is a brilliant section where the music intensifies the curiosity of the audience. Music plays a crucial part in movies like this, and Anirudh played a cult role in it. The audience appreciates the entry sequences of the actors so much, mostly because of the music.

If we talk about cinematography, Girish Gangadharan has introduced some of the pioneering shots. The action sequence before the intermission showed some of the brilliant camera movements that were not seen quite often. He precisely zoomed in to capture the expression while the action sequence was going on. Again, he moved the camera a bit to capture the exact momentum of a punch, which was incredibly awesome. Even so, the close-ups and establishing shots were pretty amazing. Basically, in the highly intense action sequence, Girish Gangadharan went into stealth mode with his camera and produced some of the most significant shots in this film.

Although the screenplay is flawed in many ways, the story starts from the point of understanding, and somehow the grip is lost in between the plot shifts. There was a hint of revenge in every aspect, but the dialogue from Vikram sounded like it was not that personal at all; it was for a greater good. Well, it didn’t seem like it! Even so, knowing how dangerous the business is, Amar’s getting married to a woman and introducing her to his colleagues didn’t seem appropriate either. Later, in the second half, Amar made a number of wrong decisions, but the way he was introduced in the first half had no reason to be such a misguided version. All in all, the climax itself always lacked a perfect foundation.

“Vikram” overall is a good film to watch, especially seeing all your beloved actors together. But Fahadh Faasil somehow lacks the qualities of a mass actor. He is a one-of-a-kind actor, and a whole generation is blessed to have him. True, but commercializing himself might not be a good idea. An actor of his stature would definitely know what suits him best, but fans would love to see him make the best out of this opportunity too. Go, watch “Vikram,” at least to see a face-off between the two greats, Kamal Hasaan and Vijay Sethupathi.

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Shovan Roy
Shovan Roy
Shovan Roy is a creative content writer. Formerly he used to write film reviews on an international film festival website named Beyond the Curve International Film Festival. He also interviewed global directors. He also interviewed one of the characters from the show 'Trailer Park Boys', Mr. Bernard Robichaud, platformed in Netflix. Shovan tends to write through the third person narrative and he loves to do psychoanalysis. He can't say that he has mastered it but that is some sort of hobby of his. Film is a platform where he loves to spend most of his time learning.

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