In the much-anticipated film ‘LEO,’ director Lokesh Kanagaraj, fresh off the success of ‘Master,’ reunites with Vijay to deliver an action-packed cinematic experience. This article delves into the plot, performances, and overall quality of the film without giving away too many spoilers.
‘LEO’ tells the story of Parthiban (played by Vijay) and his wife Satya (portrayed by Trisha) as they grapple with relentless attacks on their family. As the narrative unfolds, it becomes evident that Parthiban holds a hidden past that ties him to enigmatic characters like Leo Das and Antony (Sanjay Dutt).
Vijay shines as a down-to-earth family man and father, delivering a heartfelt performance that particularly stands out in the emotional and action sequences. Although his hairstyle faced initial criticism, it complements his character well in the film. Trisha, in the role of Satya, offers a solid yet unremarkable performance, with limited dialogues and character development.
‘LEO’ kicks off with an engaging action sequence, setting the stage for a visually captivating experience. The first half thrives on well-executed action sequences, bolstered by an exceptional background score. However, the film encounters a slump in the second half due to a relatively flat family drama and questionable plot choices.
For example, the decision to release Parthiban from jail, a man with five murders to his name, and assign a single police officer for his protection raises doubts about the director’s vision. New characters introduced at the interval, such as Sanjay Dutt and Arjun Sarja, inject intrigue into the story, but the film fails to maintain this momentum.
The second half of ‘LEO’ introduces Antony’s character, played by Sanjay Dutt, accompanied by a lengthy and somewhat tedious flashback episode. The film struggles to maintain audience engagement during this segment, with disjointed storytelling and an abundance of mindless villains. The attempt to build suspense around Leo Das’s identity eventually leads to a predictable conclusion.
The action sequences, a hallmark of Lokesh Kanagaraj’s films, take a disappointing turn with a subpar VFX car chase towards the end. In the end, ‘LEO’ feels like an underwhelming addition to the Lokesh Cinematic Universe (LCU).
Sanjay Dutt and Arjun Sarja’s performances fail to make a significant impact, primarily due to the director’s handling of their characters. On the other hand, Gautham Vasudev Menon, Mysskin, and Mathew Thomas deliver commendable performances, while other actors like Priya Anand, Madonna Sebastian, and Anurag Kashyap struggle with poorly written characters.
Music and Cinematography:
Anirudh Ravichander’s background score shines in the first half, elevating the action sequences. However, as the story falters in the second half, even his magic can’t salvage the film. Cinematography by Manoj Paramahamsa adds freshness and visual appeal, but editing by Philomin Raj leaves room for improvement. The Telugu dubbing and overall quality of writing are satisfactory.
‘LEO’ manages to captivate audiences in its first half with impressive action and music but stumbles in the second half, unable to maintain its momentum. Despite a promising start, the film ultimately feels like a missed opportunity within the Lokesh Cinematic Universe.