Leo Movie Review:When Leo was first announced, the reunion of director Lokesh Kanagaraj and actor Vijay, together with the notion that it was a part of the Lokesh Cinematic Universe (Lokesh) was the most exciting aspect of the picture. With the unquestionably one of the biggest talents in the nation, Vijay, Kanagaraj takes a huge risk and tries something really ambitious after making a lasting impression with his distinctively enjoyable flicks like Kaithi and Vikram. The action thriller Leo is the director’s attempt to go large in terms of scope and vision, but the one thing that falls short is the dull narrative.
To be clear, the screenplay’s handling of Leo’s experience is crucial as it is not a novel tale. With two children, Parthiban, also known as Parthi (Vijay), is happily married to Sathya (Trisha) and operates a coffee shop in Himachal Pradesh. He is ambushed one day by vicious gangsters Harold Das (Arjun Sarja) and Antony Das (Sanjay Dutt), who mistake Parthiban for Anthony’s son Leo Das. What takes place next? How does Parthi respond to the chaos? Parthiban, is he Leo Das? The fundamental questions of the movie are these.
Kanagaraj attempts to follow the “Vikram” path once more while sticking to the family-thriller formula, but the disparate genres destroy each other’s space rather than enhancing it. The gripping narrative does manage to pique your interest with its cunning traps and compelling action sequences, but it falters when it jumps from a fast-paced actioner to a cheesy family saga.
The director has undoubtedly catered to Vijay’s fan base by incorporating a number of moments that would make viewers cheer and leap from their seats. One of the well developed characters in the Leo universe is Parthiban. He has no regrets and will stop at nothing to keep his family safe. He gets up and doesn’t give a damn about what will happen. The background scene is one of the movie’s best moments. Leo never lets you down, and Anirudh never does either. The BGM in Leo isn’t there, but it’s the real deal, and he lifted the standard with Rajinikant’s Jailer.
Even though Vijay’s introduction deviates from the standard Thalapathy formula, Lokesh gives him something even more exciting: a confrontation with a hyena that eats humans. This is similar to what NTR Jr. got in SS Rajamouli’s RRR. Nevertheless, Lokesh deviates from the traditional Vijay films by focusing on Parthiban’s mental clarity and sharpness rather than showcasing his physical prowess in this moment. Like Lokesh’s earlier films, Leo progresses steadily without jump cuts or strange changes. The movie takes its time exploring all the facets of the typical, happy lives of Parthiban and his family.
In contrast to Vikram (2022), the movie discloses midway that it is a part of the Lokesh Cinematic Universe (LCU) without providing many meaningful references. However, the attempts at integration felt incredibly forced and artificial, lacking the organic aspect observed in the Kamal Haasan-starring picture. This could give rise to the argument that Leo would have been a better film if it had been a stand-alone Lokesh production. In addition, some parts in the film seem to be abruptly cut off, especially around the middle.
Leo box office advance sales day 1: Vijay-starring film collects Rs 34 crore, vastly outpacing Rajinikanth’s Jailer:
The background score and soundtrack by Anirudh Ravichander also greatly enhance the film’s drive. Stepping away from his usual star-worship songs, Anirudh gives Leo some amazing songs that give the movie a unique feel.
In summary, Leo is definitely a plus for Vijay, but writer-director Lokesh Kanagaraj has taken a step back with the film.