The highly anticipated film of the year, ‘Leo,’ directed by Lokesh Kanagaraj and starring Thalapathy Vijay, has made its debut and is garnering a tremendous response worldwide. But does it live up to the sky-high expectations? Spoiler alert ahead!

The movie begins with an acknowledgment of its inspiration from ‘A History of Violence’ (2005), an action thriller directed by David Cronenberg, based on John Wagner’s graphic novel. In ‘Leo,’ Parthiban (played by Thalapathy Vijay) runs a small restaurant in a small town, somewhat akin to Tom (played by Viggo Mortenson) in ‘A History of Violence.’ However, Vijay is no ordinary man; he’s Thalapathy, so he can’t merely serve coffee and wait for trouble to come. The film kicks off with an action-packed hyena sequence, introducing Parthiban as an animal rescuer, accompanied by Gautham Menon, who plays a forest ranger.

Now, let’s see the hits and misses of ‘Leo’ :

In terms of hits, Thalapathy Vijay’s remarkable screen presence and powerful portrayal as a common man ready to do whatever it takes to protect his family, even at great personal risk, stands out. The action sequences, particularly in the cafe and the market, are superbly choreographed. Notably, the first half of the movie is a definite highlight compared to the second half.

The placement of the “Naa Ready Song” in the second half offers a breather, and Anirudh’s background music is consistently fantastic, elevating the impact of routine scenes.

On the flip side, there are some misses in ‘Leo.’ The chemistry between Thalapathy Vijay and Trisha falls short, with the exception of an intimate kiss scene. Trisha’s character contributes little to the plot, and the emotional connection between the characters is lacking. While Thalapathy Vijay’s performance has significant potential, it falls short in certain scenes. The face-off between Anthony Das and Parthiban lacks the expected tension, and Gautham Vasudev Menon’s role seems incomplete, serving primarily as a bridge between the present-day Parthiban and flashback of Leo Das.

The emotional outburst of Vijay directed towards Trisha lacks impact due to unconvincing character development in the second half. The much-anticipated hyena sequence disappoints, and the dialogues lack the required elevation. Sanjay Dutt and Action King Arjun, introduced as villains, don’t live up to their menacing first-look posters. The backstory of Leo with Antony and Harold is drawn out and fails to evoke emotions. Predictable scenes leave no significant impact, and the most intriguing part comes in the last couple of minutes.

In ‘Leo,’ Thalapathy Vijay’s performance takes center stage. He effortlessly transitions between subtlety and powerful roars in action sequences. Lokesh Kanagaraj promised to showcase a new side of Vijay in ‘Leo,’ and this promise is evident on screen, particularly in emotional scenes. However, it’s essential to temper expectations – this isn’t in the same league as ‘Vikram’ or ‘Kaithi.’

At the box office, ‘Leo’ will emerge as a clear winner. Lokesh Kanagaraj’s content , Anirudh’s music and Anbuarivu’s stunt lives up to the anticipation. The most thrilling moments unfold in the last few minutes, leaving the audience eagerly anticipating the next installment in the LCU with a fantastic cast.

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