The biggest victory of Lokesh Kangaraj’s Vikram is how he balances the three immensely talented actors. The script has been written in such a way that all three get their moments to shine. In essence, Vikram is a stylish action drama. The first twenty-to thirty minutes of the film are a bit of slog with the overload of the information but as you go along the film starts getting better. Vikram is not as engaging as Karthik’s Kaithi which also belonged to the same genre, but it definitely fares better than the director’s last film Master.
The films begins off the supposed death of Karnan (Kamal Hassan). Karnan is the father of the martyred cop Prapachan (Kalidas Jayaram) We learn that a series of such killings has been happening, the people responsible for this are a group of masked men. This group calls it their war against the system. To stop these killings, the police chief brings in a black cops team. The head of this team is Amar (Fahadh Fasil). Amar starts digging into the past of Karnan. Vijay Sethupati plays a fearsome drug lord called Santhanam. Santhanam is searching for a shipment that would make him a king pin. Meanwhile, Amar is getting more and more puzzled by the many versions that he hears about Karnan. Was Karnan an alcoholic father grieving over the loss of his son, a womanizer or something more than that? But the bigger question is whether he is really dead.
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The most intriguing part of Vikram is the investigation scenes of Amar and his team. These portions keep you hooked as you yourself are also trying to figure out who the actual Karnan is. There isn’t a lot of Kamal Hassan in this part but his presence can still be amply felt, both as an actor and also as a character.
The action part before the interval has a solid twist that makes you look forward for the second half. Post interval the plot becomes more straight faced. Just like Kaithi here too you have a bunch of cops holding against an army of gangsters.
The subplot of Karnan and Prapanchan’s baby gives the second half some emotional undercurrent. These portions are pretty good. Kalidas Jayaram has a small role but the actor does a good job nevertheless.
As I earlier said all the three actors get their moments to shine. Kamal Hassan packs a punch in both the action and the emotional bits. His scenes with the little grandson give some heat touching moments. Fahadh Faasil sails through his role with his usual aplomb. He shines the brightest in the first half. Vijay Sethupati’s Santhanam is an extension of what he did in Master but the actor still makes an impact with his villainous turn. His interactions with the family members raise some chuckle worthy moments.
What pulls down Vikram significantly are the overdose of action. There is no denying that they have been solidly choreographed, but these scenes come too frequently from the middle of the second half.
Also the suspense factor is no longer there once the identity of Karanan is revealed. The film becomes more generic after this in terms of treatment. As a result the film starts feeling very prolonged. The editing department is another minus for Vikram. At least thirty minutes of the film could have been easily chopped off. Because of the excessive length the impact of Surya’s cameo lessens down.
It also doesn’t help that the supporting characters with the exception of Kalidas are mostly gap fillers.
In a nutshell, watch Vikram if you are a fan of the three actors. But be prepared for all the bloodshed.