Leo, the most recent film by Lokesh Kanagaraj, is a tribute to David Cronenberg’s A History of Violence (2005). The Tamil movie centres on the well-known story of a decent man with a troubled background, but what really makes it stand out is Thalapathy Vijay’s portrayal of Parthiban, the film’s main character. Recognised for his effortless portrayal of nuanced roles, Vijay gives another outstanding performance that pushes the film to new frontiers.
Known for helming high-octane action scenes in films like Vikram (2022) and Kaithi (2019), Kanagaraj’s most recent film, Leo, is no exception. This time, though, the South Indian director tried something new and gave the story a poignant element. The picture contains every necessary component of a mass entertainment: a compelling protagonist, exciting action scenes, upbeat soundtrack, and a conflict between good and evil. Who is Leo Das, aside from these, is the one question that has the audience on the edge of their seats?
The film opens with introducing Parthiban, an animal rescuer and cafe owner who lives with his wife Sathya (Trisha), adolescent son Siddharth (Mathew Thomas), and daughter Mathi (Iyal). Theog is a tiny town in Himachal Pradesh. Director Kanagaraj does not take long in presenting Parthiban as a hero following the perilous encounter with a hyena. But the scene just serves to create the mood for a suspenseful action scene in which Parthiban must draw a weapon in order to safeguard his daughter from some threatening individuals.
Oddly enough, the anxiety around Parthiban persists even though the primary enemies have not yet been revealed. The real story, which is full of intrigue, mystery, emotions, and action, begins when Kanagaraj brings out the big guns, two infamous gangsters from Telangana who took the role of Parthiban for Leo Das, the latter’s estranged son. Arjun Sarja (Harold Das) and Sanjay Dutt (Anthony Das) play this role.
Leo Das’s continued existence surprises Harold and Anthony Das. In order to verify the report, the latter chooses to meet him in person. Anthony Das is certain that Parthiban is his estranged son Leo Das, whom he had thought to be deceased, when he first sees him. Parthiban, though, disputes that he is Leo. When the former informs Sathya that she is married to mass murderer Leo Das, the situation becomes more convoluted and she becomes motivated to look into Parthiban’s history.
Then again, Parthiban faces a tough spot when Anthony Das grabs his child and takes steps to hurt him likewise he forfeited his own little girl and Leo’s twin sister Elisa (Madonna Sebastian). A showdown between the two closures with Anthony Das’ demise yet Parthiban is as yet not ready to track down his child. Hearing his sibling’s passing information, Harold Das offers to return Siddharth in the event that Parthiban conveys Anthony’s body to him. Parthiban concurs and goes to Harold’s plant to protect his child, where he participates in a severe battle with Harold Das and his men. In spite of the chances, Parthiban arises successful. In any case, not long prior to killing Das and annihilating his domain, Parthiban at last concedes that he is Leo Das.
Does Leo exist in the same universe as Lokesh Kanagaraj’s films?
In the epilogue, Parthiban gets a call out of the blue from an enigmatic figure addressing him as Leo. He tells him that taking down his family’s business isn’t going to be enough and that they need to band together to fight the nation’s drug cartels. Surprisingly, the man also says that Parthiban can identify him and recognise his voice, all as the background music from Kamal Haasan’s Vikram movie plays. Leo’s inclusion in Lokesh Kanagaraj’s cinematic universe is confirmed by the post-credit scene, and Thalapathy Vijay might play Parthiban/Leo Das again soon.