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Review: 'Beast' resorts to satellite-style old South films underutilizing a star like Vijay

It can't always go right, isn't it? That's a wondering I am certain many have had looking at the back-to-back mega successes that South Indian superstars have achieved in the past few years.

Published: Wednesday,Apr 13, 2022 15:00 PM GMT-06:00
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Beast

Beast

It can't always go right, isn't it? That's a wondering I am certain many have had looking at the back-to-back mega successes that South Indian superstars have achieved in the past few years. From Prabhas' Baahubali franchise to now the upcoming Yash's KGF Chapter 2, the anticipation surrounding these films is now PAN-India and not just regional.

But again, it can't all go right always,can it? That is just the apt way to talk about the experience that was watching Beast (Raw in Hindi) starring Thalapathy Vijay and Pooja Hegde in lead roles.


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The Plot

The Plot

Courtesy : Thalapathy Vijay in Beast

Set in POK (Pakistan Occupied Kashmir), Agent Veer Raghavan (Vijay) is enabled with a special undercover mission which he completes successfully but one incident leads him to leave RAW later and then he struggles to come terms with that incident. Unforeseen circumstances, a bizarre love angle and one visit to a mall leads to Veer being trapped with over 250 hostages in that mall which is hijacked by terrorists. Of course, he saves everyone but how he does it and what happens after that is what constitutes the plot of Beast.

The Performances

The Performances

Courtesy : Thalapathy Vijay and Pooja Hegde

It is almost disheartening to see an actor and performer like Vijay trying to give his earnest best to a film that he clearly looks uncomfortable with. Vijay exhibits his trademark style as you would expect and delivers. His screen presence has never been a doubt and, in fact, that is one of the few factors that becomes a saving grace. But the terrible characterisation and no development leaves him with nothing to work with.

Pooja Hegde is once again reduced to being vapid with her role and her love story with Vijay is not only bizzare but old-dchool in the worst possible way.

Fine character actors like Shine Tom Chacko, Selvaraghavan, Yogi Babu, VTV Ganesh and Ankur Vikal are forced to be caricaturish all the time be in comedy or even drama scenes. It is a disservice to these fine artists and saddening.

The Direction

The Direction

Courtesy : Thalapathy Vijay

Nelson Dilipkumar relies too much on old tropes in order to attain certain moments which he feels will be impactful but they turn out to be rather flat. The biggest flaw in his direction though has to be his usage of a superstar like Vijay. Not that he hasn't given Vijay the usual signature moments of ultra-heroism, swagger and superstardom-at-display but when you have a star who is also a good actor, you need to make use of that as well. Apart from a minuscule moment of him bring disturbed with the kid's death, Vijay's character is given no arc whatsoever and hence you don't emote with Vijay and for Vijay.

The Outlandish Elements

The Outlandish Elements

Courtesy : Thalapathy Vijay

Yes. I have absolutely no problem with the over-the-top treatment that is given to the main star as I have reiterated multiple times but while you do that, you have to make sure to give other characters and elements justice as well. 

Vijay is shown fighting the likes of ISIS terrorists not only in the mall but on their own turf as well single-handedly; but why are they so mind-numbingly stupid and inefficient is a mystery that remains. The guy (Vijay) literally manages to have his jet plane land amidst terrorist turf out of nowhere towards the climax and it is something that remains unexplained.

The Dubbing

The Dubbing

Courtesy : Selvaraghavan

If there is one thing that has improved multiple bounds over the years when it comes to South Indian films catering to rest of the country, it is the quality and accuracy of dubbing. One needs to feel what the character is feeling and that was brilliantly done in films like KGF Chapter 1, Pushpa The Rise, RRR and even Vijay's own, Master. But it seems with Beast, they got lazy and resorted to the inaccurate and slapstick-style of dubbing that is so prevalent in the older South films that come on satellite TV. The hand-gestures and expressions that the characters are giving seem entirely out of sync with the Hindi dialogues that we can hear.

A Couple of Action Sequences & Introduction

A Couple of Action Sequences & Introduction

Courtesy : Thalapathy Vijay

Credit where it's due and we have to give props to the action team for choreographing a couple of brilliant action scenes. Especially, one of the first ones where Vijay and the baddies are in closed quarters, the action and pacing is sleek and innovative.

What was also refreshing to see was that the makers gave Vijay the most un-Vijay like intros ever. As soon as the movie begins, he just pops up on the screen giving a kid a balloon. There's no build-up, slow-motion shot or BGM to Vijay's entry which is usually a staple. A refreshing change.

Incredibly Long & Boring

Incredibly Long & Boring

Courtesy : Pooja Hegde

3 hours, or 2 and a half hour-plus films seem to be back in full force these days, it seems. Length is never a concern if the film is engaging and entertaining as we have seen in recent times. But with Beast, both the halves feel dragged, long and very boring. The screenplay feels so rushed and naive, there's barely any redeeming factor.

The Verdict

Even the most die-hard Vijay fans might find Beast a hard pill to swallow but if you are one, you might just convince yourself to sit through 2 hours 40 minutes only enjoying a few moments in flickers.

Rating - **1/2 (2.5/5)


Vijay Allu Arjun Pooja Hegde Master  KGF Chapter 1  KGF Chapter 2  RRR 


Comments (2)

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Shravani95
Shravani95 2 months ago Not upto mark.. Expected more
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bahi.
bahi. 4 months ago I have booked tickets for this movie. But I think I will refund them. I don't know when Vijay will understand that the audience has change and we expect a good story. It's high time to get out of the usual mass commercial. Personally it's hard to find a good Vijay movie in the past few years. Master was a big flop. Theri was fine. Bigil and Mersal were usual mass-Vijay-dominant movies. He is playing safe with his heroism movies. He and Ajith won't survive if they don't choose good scripts. Focus on the story and tune down the heroism.
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