In 1997, John Wagner and Vince Locke released their excellent graphic novel, A History of Violence. The story follows a seemingly ordinary man, a cafe owner in a small Michigan town, whose surprising defense of his family during a robbery reveals a dark past involving connections to the mob. In 2005, David Cronenberg adapted the novel into a fantastic film starring Viggo Mortensen, which is considered one of his best performances aside from his role as Aragorn. The new Tamil version has now broken multiple box office records and, with a runtime of two hours and 40 minutes, has the opportunity to expand upon the original material – especially in the “uncut” version with an 18+ rating that is currently showing in theaters.
The movie begins in the snowy western Himalayas where the village of Theog is being attacked by a lively CGI hyena that has made its way onto the school’s playground. One brave man, Parthiban (also known as Vijay), comes forward and easily defeats the ferocious animal. However, the hyena’s antics are not the main focus, as they are soon followed by an impressive cafe robbery.
Please refrain from questioning why a man who can defeat a wild and aggressive hyena with his bare hands would also be able to handle a group of human thieves. This story does not take place in a realistic world, but rather in one filled with constant action and intense confrontations. The hyena incident serves as a warning that you are entering a world of spectacle, with never-ending action sequences and increasingly dramatic showdowns. Leave your logical thoughts behind and instead enjoy physically impossible car chases, brutal fight scenes, and a large group of gangsters singing and dancing in perfect harmony, all set to a delightfully absurd soundtrack similar to Paul Oakenfold’s impressive work on Swordfish.
37-year-old Lokesh Kanagaraj, a former bank employee, directed this film with passion and enthusiasm. He transitioned into directing after winning a short film contest. The influence of filmmakers like Quentin Tarantino can be clearly seen. Similar to Tarantino, Kanagaraj has expressed his desire to retire after making 10 films. However, based on this film, it would be a pity if he retired so soon.