Kollywood star Vijay’s Beast had a simultaneous release in Telugu with the same title. Let’s see how it fares.
Story: A RAW agent named Veeraraghavan ( Vijay) resigns his job as the Indian military betrays him during a secret operation at POK. Later, he returns to Chennai and joins as a security manager through Preethi’s ( Pooja Hegde) reference. To finalize a deal, Veeraraghavan along with his boss and colleague Preethi goes to the East Coast mall in the city. This is the time when a group of terrorists hijack the mall and demand to release their head who is in Indian government custody. With no option left, the intelligence team contacts Veeraraghavan to rescue the hostages in the mall. How will Veeraraghavan rescue the public in the mall by eradicating terrorists, forms the main USB of the film.
Performances: As usual, Vijay mesmerizes with his screen presence and settled performance. The film is Vijay’s one-man show as the actor carried the entire film on his shoulders with his electrifying aura. Special mention to Vijay’s dance movements in Halamithi Habibo song as they are a treat to watch for his fans.
Heroine Pooja Hegde is stunning on screen but her character is not designed properly. Adding to it, the introduction episodes between Pooja and Vijay look unconvincing and the chemistry between them lacks freshness. One positive thing about Pooja is that she impresses with her glamorous movements in Halamithi Habibo song.
Director turned actor Selvaraaghavan is decent in his role as an intelligence officer and evokes laughs with his dialogues in a couple of scenes. Other artists such as Aparna Das, Redin Kingsley are okay in their supporting roles. Star comedian Yogi Babu is wasted as his comedy track with Kingsley struggle to entertain the audience.
Technicalities: Music by Anirudh Ravichander is top-notch as the talented musician impresses big-time with his background score. The sounding is fresh and elevates a couple of heroism scenes nicely. His composing for Halamithi Habibo, Jolly O Gymkhana and a situational elevation song are audible on the screen.
The cinematography by Manoj Paramahamsa is good as he presented the entire film on a stylish note with his lens. Especially, the military backdrop episodes are showcased neatly with a rustic texture.
Editing by R Nirmal is okay but would have chopped off close to fifteen minutes in the second half for a better theatrical experience. Production values for this star-studded film by Sun Pictures banner are lavish.
Analysis: Written and directed by Nelson Dilipkumar, Beast has a wafer-thin storyline based on a soldier who is on a mission to rescue the hostages in a mall. Nelson’s idea of showcasing the entire concept with a military backdrop as a sub-plot is not a bad thought but the narrative suffers from a lack of strong writing and enough engaging moments in it.
At regular intervals, the audience feels like watching a single point stretched film set in a shopping mall backdrop. Instead, Nelson would have come up with a better screenplay version and avoided the dull moments in the latter half.
To summerize, Beast is a hero-centric action drama that has an energetic screen presence from Vijay. On the flip side, lack of emotional depth in the proceedings and flat writing come a demerit to the film.
Verdict: Only for Vijay!