Review Tamil

Beast review: Vijay is terrific in mall invasion thriller that is let down by weak writing

Release Date: 13 Apr 2022 / Rated: U/A / 02hr 42min


Cinestaan Rating

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Haricharan Pudipeddi

The ambitious Die Hard-inspired film lacks Nelson's trademark dark comedy and a strong antagonist.

When Beast was first announced, fans were intrigued at the prospect of filmmaker Nelson and Vijay coming together for the first time. After leaving a strong mark with uniquely entertaining films such as Kolamavu Kokila (2018) and Doctor (2021), Nelson has taken a quantum leap by attempting something highly ambitious in terms of scale and vision with Vijay, who is unarguably one of the biggest stars in the country. However, Beast, a Die Hard-inspired invasion thriller, is let down by underwhelming writing. 

The film opens somewhere near Kashmir where Veeraraghavan (Vijay), a Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) officer, has been prepping for a mission for three months. At the last minute, the Indian government decides to call off the operation, but Veera decides to go ahead with the original plan, against the orders of his own bosses. He manages to successfully execute the mission, but the outcome leaves him psychologically scarred, forcing him to quit service and return home for good.

A few months later, he finds himself in the midst of a hijack situation when he finds himself trapped in a mall with his girlfriend. The terrorists, in exchange for the release of hostages, want their leader — who was originally captured by Veera — to be freed. Can Veera thwart their evil designs? 

Nelson rose to fame with his terrific use of dark comedy in his first two films. His treatment of humour worked wonders in his movies and even went on to define his style as a filmmaker. Unfortunately, his brand of comedy is barely present in Beast, which works more as a tool to elevate Vijay’s star image.

This attempt is justified by the film’s extremely well-choreographed action sequences and exquisite visuals, but the absence of comedic elements is a major dampener. Beast is still worth your time but it isn’t as wholesomely entertaining as Nelson’s earlier films.

In bits and pieces, Beast lives up to the pre-release hype. The much-discussed action sequences stand out and Vijay kills it with his charisma in these scenes. This is the actor’s most stylized film but it’s also one where the style supersedes substance to such an extent that it is impossible to enjoy the movie after a point.

If the treatment was strongly complemented by good writing, especially by the inclusion of a stronger antagonist, the film wouldn’t have been so disappointing in some places. Though Nelson sticks to his storytelling template by introducing characters who aid the hero in the rescue mission, as was the case in Doctor, they aren’t as funny and memorable as their counterparts from that film. 

 

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