Forced Entry Into LCU
U/A, 2h 44m
What Is the Film About?
Parthiban (Vijay) and Satya (Trisha) and their family face continuous attacks. Is there a hidden past for Parthiban? The story unfolds his connection to Leo Das and Antony (Sanjay Dutt).
Vijay portrays a down-to-earth family man, a father of two, which includes a couple of crying scenes that he performs well. In action scenes, his star presence and body language shine. Although the hairstyle received negative feedback from the trailer, it looks fine in the film, and he carries a simple style. ‘Leo’ is just another film for Vijay, without any particularly memorable performance.
Trisha plays the character Satya, the wife of Vijay. It’s the kind of role that could be handled by any other artist. She is present throughout the film with minimal dialogue and a limited role in the plot. She looks beautiful in the initial scenes, but her styling appears ordinary later on.
Lokesh Kanagaraj, riding high on the success of ‘Vikram,’ directs ‘LEO,’ marking his second collaboration with Vijay after ‘Master’.
‘Leo’ begins with an engaging action sequence involving a hyena, instantly injecting freshness into the film. The VFX and visual quality provide a captivating start. The entire first half relies on well-crafted action sequences, supported by a high-quality background score.
In between, there’s a somewhat flat family drama, leaving viewers intrigued about the lead character’s troubles. Lokesh effectively uses a melody song as the background music during a restaurant fight. However, some of his ideas come across as outright silly.
For instance, Parthiban is released from jail after committing five murders, and the same person who killed several others seeks a single police officer to guard his home. These ideas raise doubts about Lokesh’s vision and the overall quality of the film as it heads into the second half.
Nevertheless, new characters introduced at the interval, namely Sanjay Dutt and Arjun Sarja, immediately grab the audience’s attention, even though they don’t create an instant high, one will look forward to the second half.
The second half of ‘Leo’ begins with the real introduction of Antony’s character, played by Sanjay Dutt, followed by a lengthy flashback episode. This is when the movie starts to become tedious and never manages to regain its momentum. The entire flashback, including the father, sister drama and action, tests one’s patience.
We also encounter more known faces like Madonna Sebastian in the sister’s storyline and a brief appearance by Anurag Kashyap, who seems edited out in the final cut, which disrupts the flow. The director attempts to incorporate Antony’s brother, Herold Das, played by Arjun, in bits and pieces, but it doesn’t seamlessly integrate into the narrative.
All we get are mindless villains, with the director attempting to build suspense around Leo Das’s identity, but it ultimately leads to a predictable conclusion after all the buildup. Surprisingly, Lokesh Kanagaraj, known for his ability to create impressive action sequences, delivers a below-par VFX car chase action sequence towards the end.
Overall, ‘Leo’ manages to keep you hooked during the first half with its good action, background music, and visuals. However, it completely derails in the second half and never manages to regain its momentum. ‘Leo’ feels like a forced addition to the hyped LCU (Lokesh Cinematic Universe).
Performances by Others Actors
For ‘LEO’ to succeed, big characters like Sanjay Dutt and Arjun Sarja must excel. While Sanjay Dutt tests one’s patience, Arjun Sarja makes minimal impact. However, the issue is not with their performance but with the director’s poor vision for them.
On the other hand, the cast that performs their roles well includes Gautham Vasudev Menon, Mysskin, and Mathew Thomas. Unfortunately, others like Priya Anand, Madonna Sebastian, Anurag Kashyap and more fail to leave an impression due to their poorly written characters.
Music and Other Departments?
Anirudh Ravichander, who struggled to deliver on the audio front, works his magic by providing a high-quality background score. This is one of the main reasons the action episodes in the first half succeed. However, when it comes to the second half, it doesn’t matter what Anirudh does, as the story has completely lost its way, and nothing can save it at this point. Anirudh, who has been enjoying a series of back-to-back successes, faces a setback with ‘LEO’.
Cinematography by Manoj Paramahamsa elevates the film’s overall appeal, infusing freshness with slick and high-quality visuals. However, the editing by Philomin Raj could have been significantly improved, especially in the second half. The writing and the quality of Telugu dubbing are satisfactory.
First Half Action
Entire Second Half
Did I Enjoy It?
Yes, first half
Will You Recommend It?
Only if you are a fan of Lokesh’s films
Leo’s second half becomes tedious with Sanjay Dutt’s arrival. Herold Das (Arjun) is underutilized, and the action quality also drops. Overall, Leo is the weakest entry in the LCU. It’s a one-time watch with the right expectations.
First Half Report:
Leo’s first half relies heavily on well-designed action sequences and high-quality background music and slick visuals. The story appears routine, and logic falters at times, but the introduction of characters at the interval makes one look forward to the second half.
— LEO starts with a much hyped action episode involving a hyena, and it turns out very well. Stay tuned for the first half report.
Stay tuned for LEO Movie Review, USA Premiere Report.
Lokesh Kanagaraj’s second collaboration with the crowd-pulling star, Vijay, is working wonders, and advance sales are skyrocketing nationwide. Now, it’s all up to the director to live up to the hype and maintain the momentum. Stay tuned for LEO movie review.
Cast: Thalapathy Vijay, Sanjay Dutt, Trisha, Arjun, Gautham Vasudev Menon, Mysskin, Mansoor Ali Khan, Priya Anand
Written & Directed by Lokesh Kanagaraj
Music : Anirudh Ravichander
Producer : Lalit Kumar
Co Producer : Jagadish Palanisamy
Banner : Seven Screen Studio
Director of Photography : Manoj Paramahamsa
Action : Anbariv
Editor : Philomin Raj
Telugu distribution: Suryadevara Naga Vamsi
Overseas distribution: Prathyangira Cinemas
Leo Movie Review by M9