The fact that Nelson reinvented the formulaic hero-worshipping tone of entertainer mainstream cinema through Doctor was the one thing that made me excited about Vijay starrer Beast. The way he breaks certain clichés through those partially spoofy humor in writing gave Doctor that much-needed uniqueness. But when it comes to Beast, there is a desperation to make it a fanboy film. The nonsensical texture of the movie is something that you don’t want to see in a movie from the director who made Kolamavu Kokila and Doctor.
The central character is Veera Raghavan, an ex RAW agent who is now taking therapy because of a traumatic experience he had during one operation. He meets a girl named Preeti during a wedding, and impressed by his skills, she recommends him for a security agency. The day the security agency head decided to take him to a mall to grab the security contract of it was the day a terrorist group decided to hijack that mall in Chennai. With Veera Raghavan inside the mall, what all happens in that short span of time is what we witness in Beast.
If you look at Nelson’s other two creations, he has always made sure that the story is about a group of people, and they all get enough relevance in the screenplay to stay with the audience. Beast feels like a script where Nelson had a similar team-oriented idea, but he tweaked it to make it look like a one-man show. This conversion to make it feel like a “Vijay” film is its biggest drawback. When the movie is building its premise in the first half, things are interesting. But as the film reaches the interval block, you sense the basic and underdeveloped feel of the script.
Humor is Nelson’s strong point, and I must say that even though I was heavily disappointed with Beast, it was never an unbearable kind of experience. The reason for that is the clever use of humor in situations. The characters played by Selvaraghavan and VTV Ganesh were perhaps the kind of characters one would expect in a Nelson film. The writing’s caricature tone in certain crucial parts was a major letdown for me. The antagonist was vague and totally unintimidating. The production quality in cinematography and edits, along with Anirudh’s pulsating background score, helps Beast reduce the disappointment created by the superficial writing. The very first fight sequence in the film was a brilliantly choreographed one.
Even though the film has a lighter and fun side, Nelson is not making Vijay do the typical stuff he does in certain scenes. The swagger is there in his performance, and the minimalism keeps Veera Raghavan in that ice-cool zone. Pooja Hegde as Preeti is pretty much inconsequential to the plot. Selvaraghavan as the irreverent Althaf was fun to watch. Even though that character was not so essential to the plot, VTV Ganesh was able to utilize the space given to him. Redin Kingsly and Yogi Babu were okay in their respective roles. Shaji Chen, as the Minister, was way too eccentric. Aparna Das, Shine Tom Chacko, Lilliput Faruqi, Ankur Ajit Vikal, Sathish etc. are the other names in the cast.
Beast was one movie where you can see the director trying to do something different in the early portions and then decides to follow the tradition of pleasing the fanboys. In the interval block of the film, Vijay says his classic dialogue from Pokkiri, and the audience erupts. Just after that, Nelson did something totally unnecessary, resulting in awkward silence during the interval time. You are not getting lectures from Vijay this time about agriculture and women’s safety. And that is indeed a big relief, considering the fact that this is a major release. But with a plot development that goes after exaggeration rather than kickass fun, Beast becomes a major disappointment.
With a plot development that goes after exaggeration rather than kickass fun, Beast becomes a major disappointment.
Green: Recommended Content
Orange: The In-Between Ones
Red: Not Recommended