Release Date : October 19, 2023
123telugu.com Rating : 2.75/5
Starring: Thalapathy Vijay, Sanjay Dutt, Trisha, Arjun, Gautham Vasudev Menon, Priya Anand, Mysskin, Mansoor Ali Khan, and others
Director: Lokesh Kanagaraj
Producer: Lalit Kumar
Music Director: Anirudh Ravichander
Cinematographers: Manoj Paramahamsa
Editor: Philomin Raj
Related Links : Trailer
Box office emperor Thalapathy Vijay joined forces with sensational filmmaker Lokesh Kanagaraj for the action drama, Leo. The film has been making noise right since its announcement, and its hype reached unprecedented levels now. The advance bookings have indicated that Leo will create a pandemonium at the ticket windows. Let’s see if this much-hyped film lived up to the expectations or not.
Parthiban (Thalapathy Vijay) runs a cafe in Theog, Himachal Pradesh. He is a normal family man who lives with his wife Satya (Trisha) and two children. One day a few goons attack Parthiban’s cafe and they threaten to kill his daughter and a worker there. With no option left, Parthiban kills the gangsters, which lands his family in trouble. When Parthiban is going through all this fuss, gangsters Antony Das (Sanjay Dutt) and Harold Das (Arjun) come into his life, and they believe Parthiban is their family member, Leo Das (Thalapathy Vijay). Who exactly is this Leo Das? What happened to him? How did Parthiban manage to get out of all this turmoil? This is what the rest of the film is about
The film’s first half is pretty much engaging. The pace is intentionally kept slow here. The hyena scene and the follow-up family drama take us into the world of Parthiban. There is absolutely no rush in the proceedings. The intention was to establish the characters and the protagonist’s world in a neat manner. The movie reaches its peak during the cafe fight scene.
Vijay’s vulnerability is well depicted and hence the action blocks (first hour) give a ultimate high. Vijay is not just a star, but he is a good actor too. Leo precisely showcases the acting brilliance of Thalapathy Vijay. Fight scenes in the first half are well staged, and Vijay’s performance, coupled with well-crafted action blocks, keeps the proceedings engaging.
The interval block is decent, and it sets up things well for the second half. Leo has some excellent action blocks and solid cinematography. Trisha is fine in her role. The movie picks up pace in the pre-climax and climax portions. Yes, the film is a part of LCU, and the franchise fans have a few moments to cheer about. There is a small surprise in the end.
The second half is always the key as it decides the film’s range. But most of the films of late are going through this second-hour syndrome. Unfortunately, Leo also falls in the same category. What’s actually surprising is the way the flashback portions are written. One wouldn’t expect such pale writing from someone like Lokesh Kanagaraj, who delivered terrific films.
The pacing is again slow post the interval mark, with nothing much happening storywise. But a few moments keep the proceedings going until the commencement of the flashback portion, which brings down the movie. Due to the bad writing, Sanjay Dutt and Arjun don’t make much impact. As said, the writing department needs to be blamed here.
Actors like Priya Anand don’t have anything to do in the movie. A key character, which a noted actress plays in the second half, is poorly designed. The intended emotional scenes lack punch. Telugu dubbing is fine, but the Naa Ready song is a big letdown. A Tamil song plays in the background during the cafe fight scene. It would have been better had the makers used some Telugu song here for the Telugu version. The minute detailing aspects like important paper cuttings, and matter engraved on a photo frame were in Tamil. These small details also do make a difference.
Anirudh’s background score is good in parts. However it is not that great when compared to his best works like Master and Vikram. The songs, too, didn’t leave a mark, which was due to bad translation. The cinematography by Manoj Paramahamsa is stupendous. There is an action block in the flashback sequence, and the camera movement was superb here. The editing is below-par in the second half, while it is good in the first hour. The VFX was good in the hyena scene. When it comes to the car chase sequence, the VFX works are below par as the whole portion looks cartoonish.
Coming to the director, Lokesh Kanagaraj, he did just an okay job with Leo. Lokesh handled the first half neatly, but he couldn’t carry the same momentum in the second half. There is no doubt that we have seen this story multiple times, but what matters the most is how it is told. Lokesh has set the bar high with his films, but he couldn’t surpass the expectations completely with Leo, and he delivers just an okay product.
On the whole, Leo is an action entertainer that relies majorly on the performance of Thalapathy Vijay. The first half is engaging despite the slow pacing, but the film runs into trouble once the second half starts. The flashback portions and poorly designed characters are the major drawbacks. Leo is a part of the LCU, and there are a few moments for the franchise fans to cherish. Lokesh Kanagaraj’s magic is somewhat missing in Leo, and the box office prospects of the film depend on the stardom of Vijay and the LCU factor.
123telugu.com Rating: 2.75/5
Reviewed by 123telugu Team
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