After more than a year of ‘Master’, the wait for Thalapathi Vijay fans is finally over with Director Nelson Dilipkumar’s ‘Beast’ (titled RAW for the Hindi version) co-starring Pooja Hegde in the lead. Beast was probably meant to be an action comedy! However, it seems what would have looked great on the desk hasn’t translated in terms of narrative.
Nelson’s Beast appears to be a show-reel for Vijay with everyone else supporting in making a great looking one. Sample this, Vijay who plays Veera Raghavan (an ex-RAW agent) is on a (terrorist) killing spree, fine, but the problem lies when there are many opponents constantly firing at him and not a single bullet ‘dares’ touch him; though none of his bullets are wasted!
The film begins on a high note with Veera Raghavan (Vijay) on a mission, which is already aborted by the authorities, but he cannot stop as he has spent a lot of time and effort preparing for the same. The mission gets accomplished but leaves Vijay mentally wounded. He feels that an innocent girl lost her life because of his fault, and he leaves the department.
His doctor friend wants to divert his mind and tags him along to a wedding, thinking that he may get attracted to pretty girls, and that does happen. Veera falls for Preeti (played by Pooja Hegde) who in-turn recruits him in her security firm and takes him along to a (client) mall and all hell breaks loose. While in the mall, Veera senses that there is something amiss. He soon realises that the mall is under siege by terrorists. How Veera saves using his tricks and wit in setting the hostages free and neutralising the terrorists is what the film is all about.
The narrative is very thin, though some of his comedy and action sequences do keep the interest still intact with Vijay’s dead pan dialogues and Yogi Babu’s presence. The action choreography and stunts might attract Vijay’s diehard fans but on the hind side might annoy Pooja Hegde’s fans. Pooja Hegde is practically ‘just present’ in the frame, which is literally visible in a couple of scenes, where one can notice even the character wondering what she is doing! Yogi Babu is completely wasted.
Selvaraghavan plays Altaf; his character swings between being humourous to being serious and the audience is unable to fathom the intentions of the director. Some sequences involving VTV Ganesh, Yogi Babu and Redin Kingsley work, but these offer negligible satisfaction to audiences who were expecting a humour fest from Nelson Dilipkumar. Not that all jokes fall flat; some do invoke humour, but these are few and far between.
The over-the-top action sequences seem to have been designed with the sole intention of glorifying Vijay and attracting his fans for some brownie points in his favour. The Hindi version has Salman Khan influence too with his famous ‘Wanted’ dialogue ‘Ek baar jo maine commitment kar di, uske baad toh main khud ki bhi nahin sunta‘ oft repeated. Surprisingly, Nelson Dilipkumar, who is known for his humour, seems to have gone astray in his attempt to recreate the magic.
Manoj Paramahamsa’s cinematography is good, and Anirudh’s music is credible. All in all, Nelson Dilipkumar’s ‘Beast’ is meant for Thalapathi Vijay fans with a ‘commitment’ to glorify him in all possible ways.
Director: Nelson Dilipkumar
Cast: Vijay, Pooja Hegde, Yogi Babu, Redin Kingsley, Selvaraghavan and Shine Tom Chacko
Duration: 159 minutes