Beast Movie Review
After Doctor, Nelson's next film Beast garnered high expectations both from fans and critics alike. But reality is often disappointing and that is the case with Beast.
Carrying over major part of Doctor's cast might seem like a really good move on paper but what you actually see on screen is much different. Somewhat like Doctor, Vijay tries to gather an impromptu team of 'humorous' people which definitely includes the film's so called heroine, and the group of comedians from Doctor and VTV Ganesh. Unlike Doctor, the stakes are higher this time with a mall being hijacked instead of a girl getting kidnapped. I can't help but compare the two films to see how a director who had made a very focused dark comedy film make an incoherent mess of what you see as Beast. Ideally, the plot should have been only about the mall and how he saves the civilians in the mall from the hijackers right?, but there are so many elements which don't fit within the overall scope of the film like his RAW background and tracking down of the main terrorist in Pakistan.
In Doctor, we saw a very grounded Sivakarthikeyan who hardly smiles with the supporting cast doing much of the heavy lifting in the movie. I guess we can no longer pull the 'succumbed to stardom' card anymore as Vijay had portrayed a vulnerable and ignorant drunkard for a good amount of time in Master. It is only when we near the half way mark that we see the character arc of Vijay changing dramatically. But when such an incident happens in the first 30 minutes of the film which is the case with Beast, there's hardly any time to think of what kind of a person Vijay was before and after the incident. When I first watched Doctor in the theatre, everyone including me was bursting out in laughter almost throughout the movie but in Beast there is no effort involved in engraving the humor in the plot.
It is Vijay who does most of the work in this film, with the supporting cast being there for the sake of it. When Nelson retained the names of Mahali and Kili in the film, I thought there was still some hope for them to bring back some humor we saw in Doctor. Redin Kingsley and Yogi Babu were absolutely wasted in the film with no significance given to the actual writing of comedy. What annoyed me more than this was Shaji Chen's character incessantly screaming at Selvaraghavan who is sitting in some sort of control room the entire movie. Pooja Hegde is pretty much a joke in this film. For an actress who played a bold woman in her debut Tamil film in Mugamoodi, she plays the glamorous girlfriend of Vijay, because why not.
The cinematography in some of the scenes stood out well, but apart from that there aren't really any moments which you would remember to quote somewhere the next time you watch a Nelson or Vijay movie.
Anirudh's background score felt very rushed with the same scores being used throughout the movie. Apart from the two songs with odd placements, I felt that the score in many parts of the movie was uninvolved and bland. In Master, the very same Anirudh gave a banger of an album including a very comprehensive soundtrack.
Since Sivakarthikeyan was a doctor in Doctor, the naming felt very apt and direct. But Vijay doesn't do anything in the film which is 'beastly'. Honestly even Suriya as Durai Singam made more references to an actual beast than Selvaraghavan giving a build up of Vijay.
Despite the fact that no one would actually take the plot seriously, the film continued to try to keep the stakes high till the last scene. It somewhat seemed to contradict the very purpose of the film, that is to be a comedy entertainer. At the end, its the audience out there searching for the director Nelson who got lost with the Beast.