What happens in a face-off between a bunch of bad guys and the not-so-bad guys? You got it right if you thought "guns, action, and more action" was the probable answer.
But that's just glossing through the periphery of 'Vikram', starring Kamal Haasan, Fahadh Faasil and Vijay Sethupathy. 'Vikram' is driven strongly by emotion and bonds between individuals but elevated greatly by the use of guns and action that can only be pulled off so magnificently by an uncompromising filmmaker like Lokesh Kanagaraj.
The theme is cocaine and the underworld running its cartel. A dangerous gang is on the loose after a bunch of consignments carrying their substance is seized. So is a masked man whose identity remains a mystery till the interval.
The director had mentioned in several interviews that he is a fan of Kamal Haasan's works and this movie is a perfect tribute to the superstar, who is back on screen after a hiatus. Kamal has once again proved there is nothing he cannot do. He looks dapper than ever, handling guns (like a cowboy air rifle or a Hellboy M4) and does action with the ease of a man who has never shied away from experimenting on looks, stories and style throughout his career.
It's very evident that Lokesh's confidence in attempting some path-breaking techniques in the movie, has been derived from the presence of the actor, who has been credited for introducing global-style elements in his movies.
Fahadh Faasil is a delight to watch as he essays the role of a black squad agent, who is on an important mission. He owns the first half of the movie, making a huge impact throughout the movie as he shifts between playing the tough, reckless guy and a lover, who does not reveal his profession to the person that means the world to him.
It wouldn't be wrong to say he is the driving force of the film.
You don't see Vijay Sethupathi doing many villain roles these days, but when he does, he means business. Of course, his character is poles apart from the lover he played in the recently released movie 'Kaathuvaakula Rendu Kaadhal' and Vijay looks very comfortable in his role. Malayalee actor Chemban Vinod does not disappoint either in his role as a tainted cop.
Many movies are made as sequels, but Lokesh has never claimed that 'Vikram' would be a sequel to 'Kaithi' starring Karthik and Narain, which released in 2019. But, what else can one expect it to be when several references made in the movie, remind you of the scenes from the previous blockbuster. Narain's arrival on screen and the mention of a ghost, uttered by Fahadh Faasil in 'Vikram', confirms there is a lot of connection between the two movies. Whatever universe Lokesh has made us enter, it's overwhelming, but enticing, to say the least and you can expect either a sequel to Kaithi or Vikram in Lokesh's next.
The music by Anirudh, who is an established name in Tamil cinema, and cinematography by Girish Gangadharan are simply brilliant, blending so well with the movie and taking it to an altogether different realm. The stunts are also exceptional. For those who fancy watching guns do all the talking in action movies, 'Vikram' will blow your mind. It's not everyday that you see a canon or other olden-age ammunition part of a modern-day action movie.
Kamal's movies are incomplete, if there is no mention of politics or an ideology and in 'Vikram', ideology takes centre stage.
Overall, the makers have to be applauded for introducing a global-style of storytelling. The story ends, not with a bang, but with a promise that there is more to come.