Preparing for the hero intro scene has apparently been a non-negotiable part of masala movies featuring superstars. It’s a fan-service thing. But, over the years, it evolved into something of a ritual. No matter how maverick and rebellious the director is, he must organize a series of events, build anticipation, and set the stage for the hero’s entrance. Minutes before the long-awaited hero’s entrance, the movie will start firing into full gear, giving fans the right cues to prepare to greet their favorite star with deafening applause, whistles and screams.
But director Nelson Dilipkumar has done away with that inescapable element in his latest film Beast, starring Tamil superstar Vijay. We meet our hero without any of the established rituals of hero worship. He appears on screen without much announcement or fanfare, and smiles for a moment at the audience. That’s all. It’s a huge subversion of hardcore fan expectations.
The creative decision is in line with the stoic nature of Veera Raghavan, played by Vijay. He’s so expressionless that strangers won’t be able to guess he’s suffering from traumatic stress just by looking at him. Nelson cut Veera Raghavan’s character from the same cloth as Dr. Varun, the stoic hero of his late director Doctor.
Veera Raghavan is one of RAW’s finest officers. However, the collateral damage he caused during a high-profile mission takes a toll on his sanity. And he takes this loss very personally and he believes he was betrayed by his men. So he leaves RAW. Call it the good fortune of innocents or a stroke of bad luck for a group of terrorists based in Pakistan, Veera unexpectedly finds herself in a mall, which is hijacked. His former colleagues, who sense his presence in the mall, ask for his help. The government tells Veera that he is their best hope. But, his stoic nature protects him from flattery.
Also, unlike the heroes of other movies, say Die Hard, Veera doesn’t take it upon himself to fight the terrorists and save all the hostages single-handedly without thinking for a second about his safety. After the terrorists take over the mall, Veera safely escorts herself with some friends and finds a safe place to hide. And then he says to his friends something like, “Let’s not worry about other people’s lives. It is the government’s job to save these people. Let’s save ourselves first and get out.
What?! He’s the hero and the ultimate sign of a hero is sacrifice, right? This is where Nelson gets realist and he touches on a subject that is less talked about – accountability. Veera doesn’t want to get involved in the case because he doesn’t want any more deaths on his conscience. He doesn’t want to be in a position to decide who lives and who dies. It’s too much for one man to bear.
However, it is Veera’s same clear conscience that does not allow her to sit back and let innocent people die. After hearing the cry of a young girl, Veera can no longer sit idle. He knows it’s time for him to apply his skills, kill bad guys and save good people. “I’m a soldier. Not a politician,” Veera says at one point.
And when Veera steps out of her safety to confront the terrorists, time slows down. As Anirudh’s Beast Mode track plays in the background, Veera walks in slow motion with an ax in hand, giving fans the opportunity to go into a frenzy that Nelson denied them in the opening moments of the game. film.
While Nelson makes big star movies without the usual cliche, he seems to create a set of his own cliches. Take, for example, actors Redin Kingsley, Sunil Reddy and Yogi Babu. It seems like this set of actors is a staple in a Nelson film, even if they don’t serve the narrative besides just being time fillers. Nelson forces these actors into the storytelling to create comic relief. Sometimes it works, but this trick seems to run out with each new movie.
Moreover, Nelson could have used this plot setup to shoot a biting thriller. Instead, he gives us unabashed fun and solid service to Vijay’s fanbase.