The last week saw the release of three films- Vikram, Major, and Samrat Prithviraj.
The upcoming week will see the release of Jurassic World: Dominion, the sixth and the final installment in the Jurassic Park franchise.
Silverscreen India brings to you, a compilation of reviews of films that received both offline as well in cinemas:
Lokesh Kanagaraj’s Vikram marks the return of actor Kamal Haasan to the big screen after a hiatus of four years. Haasan features as agent Arun Kumar Vikram, and actors Vijay Sethupathi, Fahadh Faasil, Santhana Bharathi, Kalidas Jayaram, and Arjun Das, appear alongside him. The film is a sequel to Kanagaraj’s 2019 film Kaithi, and is the second film in his series of action films in what is unofficially being called the Lokesh Cinematic Universe.
Subha J Rao, of Silverscreen India, calls Vikram “a Lokesh creation that features prodigious talent.”
However, Rao notes that Kanagaraj falls short “on the emotional core, especially when it comes to characters other than Kamal Haasan.”
“You’re told they love their family and see glimpses of it, but what makes them them? What drives them? What makes Sethupathi’s Sandhanam, the man named after a natural fragrance, but who wears a mask most of the time to keep chemical fumes away, so dangerous? Why does he fear the big boss so much?” she questions.
According to Vishal Menon of Film Companion, “It’s disappointing to see one of our most gifted directors go the Marvel way to construct its mass moments around intertextuality.”
He adds that the absence of clarity from the film is what stuck out as a sore thumb, for him. “I still have no clue how and why the action shifts to a particular place for the big climax. I’m still trying to figure out the relevance of a bugging device that got a lot of importance early on and I’m not really sure why a mother would forget to take her son into a panic room during a crisis. Even if one assumes a second viewing will give you these answers, there’s always the feeling that you’ve already moved on to the next big action set piece, even before you’ve truly understood the point of the previous one.”
The reviewer adds that the screenplay is weak, and the “thrills aren’t exactly earned like it was in Kaithi.”
The film’s high points, however, come from the tributes paid to Haasan’s older films, according to Menon.
Ashameera Aiyappan of Firstpost, writes, “In Vikram, Kamal Haasan is all swag. It’s not a role that demands a lot from the actor. But it is still a delight to see him in this all-guns-blazing (quite literally) action avatar.”
She adds, “The film’s emotional core struggles to breathe under the weight of building a franchise. But the surprises keep the curiosity alive. And thankfully, for once, we have female characters who are of actual relevance and significance to the story.”
The film comes with its own flaws, Aiyappan notes, which lie in the loopholes and the logical discrepancies.
Vikram has an IMDb rating of 9.1.
Directed by Sashi Karan Tikka, Major features actors Adivi Sesh, Saiee Manjrekar, Sobhita Dhulipala, Prakash Raj, and Revathy, among others. It is a biographical drama based on the life of late Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan, who died fighting the terrorists at the Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai.
Aswathy Gopalakrishnan of Silverscreen India writes that the film is no different from others in the genre in terms of cheering soldiers and encouraging youngsters among spectators to join the forces.
She adds, “But what makes it a slightly better film than the recent bout of films on nationalism is its constraint in expressing jingoism. The emphasise is on the stunts. The action scenes are slick ﹣ the soldier is a dashing hero shooting down multiple terrorists through a veil of smoke.”
Gopalakrishnan notes that the film hardly differentiates between Unnikrishnan’s personal and professional lives. “Despite its outright refusal to ask deep questions about the life and death of a soldier, Major becomes a poignant film thanks to these personal touches.”
Mukesh Manjunath of Film Companion, calls Major a “phenomenal theatrical experience”.
He reflects similar sentiments as Gopalakrishnan’s, and writes, “It never rubs patriotism in your face. Rather it shows how a small boy who was petrified of a street dog grows up to become the bravest man in the face of death. In this film’s universe, a soldier means anyone who can give courage to others and it is this definition that drives the narrative forward.”
For Manjunath, Sricharan Pakala’s music is the biggest factor for the film that leads to the climax, seamlessly.
He notes that the film is also tender, sensitive, and human, in that it presents the marital conflict between Sandeep and Neha (essayed by Manjrekar), in a matured way.
Karthik Keramalu of Firstpost writes that even though the film draws scenes that would culminate into Unnikrishnan’s heroic step at the hotel, it “doesn’t school us about the various meanings and synonyms of patriotism.”
For the reviewer, the film scores the highest in its action sequences.
Major has an IMDb rating of 9.3.