Originally a twitter thread…

  • This film doesn’t push beyond ideas. The characters, the cyclical narrative, the conflict. All of them are potent ideas, but aren’t fleshed out enough to inspire an emotional reaction. Subbaraj tries a lot to impress the mind, but I feel he also needs to go after the heart.
  • Vikram puts in fun-filled vigour, but how can he save the boat when showy filmmaking isn’t even supporting his presence – where are the closeups of this actor you’ve trusted your story upon? The character remains an idea when you shy away from letting the actor own it.
  • The father-son confict is a juicy idea, but again it’s executed in an underwhelming manner, one that relies too much on its casting coup. Dada deserved a heftier backstory for the monster he’s become, perhaps in place of the done-to-death (and overlong) rise of the syndicate.
  • Gandhi Mahaan’s ideology needed to come across in the character, sprinkled through the screenplay, rather than in a preachy phone call in the climax. The character is almost taking after Walter White, but there’s barely any arc, or descent. Again, all brains and brawns, no heart.
  • The cyclical narrative – a childhood prologue extrapolated into adult years – is Subbaraj’s biggest flex here, and he’s written it with interesting plot mechanics. But this interest is still on surface level. Probably another draft or two would’ve brought that for its characters.


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