Leo (2023) Movie Review: Vijay’s one-man show is a treat for moviegoers

Leo (2023) Movie Cast:

Vijay, Trisha, Sanjay Dutt, Arjun Sarja, Mathew Thomas, Iyal, Gautham Vasudev Menon, Madonna Sebastian, Priya Anand, George Maryan, Mansoor Ali Khan, Babu Antony, Mysskin, Sandy Master

Director: Lokesh Kanagaraj

Release Date: 

Leo is produced by S.S. Lalit Kumar & Jagadish Palanisamy & was released in theatres on 19th October 2023 in Tamil, Telugu, Hindi, Kannada, & Malayalam languages.

Leo (2023) Movie Review: Vijay-Lokesh Kangaraj's film crosses 100 crores in 2 days

Leo which hit theaters on October 19, 2023, draws inspiration from David Cronenberg's action thriller, A History of Violence. It revolves around the life of Parthiban, aka Parthi (Vijay), who resides in the small town of Theog in Himachal Pradesh with his family, including his wife Sathya (Trisha), their son Siddharth aka Siddhu (Mathew Thomas), and their daughter Chintu (Iyal). Parthi is an animal rescuer and operates a quaint café named "Café Wild Beans".

A Forest Ranger named Joshi Andrews (Gautham Vasudev Menon) contacts Parthiban to deal with a local hyena issue. Parthiban, accompanied by his son Siddhu, takes control of the hyena and adopts it.

One evening, as Parthi and Chintu dance to music in the café after closing time, a member of Shanmugham's gang, Sandy Master, shows up and requests a chocolate coffee. Parthi politely explains that the café is closed, but Sandy persists in ordering more coffee despite repeated closures. When Parthi notices a gun on Sandy, he realizes the gang member's ill intentions. He intervenes to prevent his female staff from arguing with the gang member. More members of the gang arrive, escalating the situation. In order to protect Chintu and the staff, Parthi is forced to eliminate all the gang members present, resulting in a tense action sequence.

When Parthiban and his family visit the local market, they come under attack from unknown assailants. Parthi defends himself and his family by eliminating the attackers. The identity of the attackers and their motive remain unclear. Subsequently, we are introduced to two brothers, Antony Das (Sanjay Dutt) and Harold Das (Arjun Sarja), who are searching for Antony's son, Leo Das (also Vijay), who bears a striking resemblance to Parthiban. Are Parthiban and Leo the same person? The film unveils the answer in its gripping climax.

Whether you are a fan of Thalapathy Vijay, Lokesh Kanagaraj, or LCU, or not, Leo offers a chance to witness Superstar Vijay's brilliant performance. From start to finish, he keeps the audience engaged, excelling in action sequences, delivering powerful dialogues, portraying emotional scenes, and showcasing his dancing skills. This performance can be ranked alongside his outstanding roles in Theri, Mersal, Thuppakki, and Bigil.

Trisha's portrayal of Sathya is satisfactory, and Mathew Thomas, Sandy Master, and Gautham Vasudev Menon deliver convincing performances. Madonna Sebastian as Elisa Das and Priya Anand as Priya Andrews, unfortunately, do not receive enough screen time to showcase their talents. Arjun Sarja's Harold Das remains underutilized as well.

In the first half, Lokesh Kanagaraj shines with three superb action sequences within one hour, skillfully developing the characters. However, the second half encounters pacing issues, with a runtime of 164 minutes. The narrative accelerates in the second half, and some characters lack proper development and backstories, resulting in underutilization. Writers Lokesh Kanagaraj, Rathna Kumar, and Deeraj Vaidy struggle to maintain the momentum, with the second half offering little note until the last 30 minutes. Editor Philomin Raj could have improved the pacing by trimming it to 10-15 minutes.

The background score by Anirudh Ravichander outshines the music composition. Leo marks Anirudh Ravichander's third collaboration with the director, following Vikram and Master, and his fourth collaboration with Superstar Vijay after Beast, Master, and Kaththi. Manoj Paramahamsa's cinematography is satisfactory.

The action thriller Leo has already crossed Rs 100 crores at the box office in 2 days. This is Vijay & Lokesh Kanagaraj's 2nd collaboration after the action thriller Master in 2021 & Lokesh Kanagaraj's 6th directorial effort, following Aviyal, Maanagaram, Kaithi, Master, and Vikram. It's his third film under the Lokesh Cinematic Universe (LCU) banner, following Kaithi and Vikram. Leo doesn't live up to expectations, mainly due to the second half's weak writing.


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