REVIEW: Laththi – A refreshing storyline falling prey to the usual mass hero’s heroics

It is always pleasant to watch a big-budget action hero sit aside and let the narrative take centre stage. Laththi included numerous instances of this, particularly in the first half where the protagonist downplays most of the action and acts like a typical person we meet every day. Vishal’s portrayal of Muruganandham is superbly written as an innocent middle-class family man who lacks the superhuman abilities that a leading man often possesses. Even at the beginning of the story, he is pleading with his higher superiors to lift the suspension of his job.

It’s enjoyable to watch how the guy justifies himself throughout the first half of the film and restricts himself to the duties of a police policeman. His expertise in laththi treatment has gotten to the point that he is afraid of losing his job and doesn’t want to perform it any longer. Despite his first battle scene, which is a little too over the top to be convincing, the next scenes are more realistic. Vishal excels as an actor in these scenes, playing his part subtly. The family portions of Vishal, Sunaina as Kavi and Lirishi Rahav as their son Rasu have worked well with believable emotions.

The execution of sequences with the bad guys is where the main issue lies. For instance, while the scenario in which the primary villain is on the prowl for Vishal is intriguingly written, the performances fall short. Vishal’s extremely realistic moment is followed by the typical over-the-top villain, who constantly speaks in a frightening manner and exhibits psychic behaviour, as in the plastic cover sequence, for example. Don’t they, the bad folks, also have a life? The way Ramana’s character, Vellai, is portrayed makes him seem like a peculiar bad guy, which makes him seem to be a typical bad guy. He does not appear dangerous at any point in the film, despite efforts to make him appear so, with the exception of one moment.

Immediately after the interval, the movie starts its protracted finale, which engages the audience and makes them curious about how the rest of the movie would be handled. Within a massive unfinished building, there is some creative choreography of stunts and hide-and-seek games that are very well planned and done. However, the sudden emergence of police officer Muruganandham as a mass hero overshadows the positive sequences and is a major letdown. The hero’s personality appears to abruptly change, returning him to his typical “Star” mode of operation. There are some unanswerable questions that don’t pique my interest, like whether Vishal would save his son. The villains keep trying to capture the hero in a position of power, but they keep chatting in an attempt to finally lose him. This occurs many than once, and the climax lasts an extremely long time. The effect that is anticipated from Vishal’s emotionally charged performance is also impacted by this protracted climax, which makes the audience restless.

With the amount of physical suffering Vishal endures but still manages to stay upright and destroy the villains, I’m not sure how much a regular human body could withstand. The movie would have been far more effective if the protagonist’s personality had remained constant despite the chaotic climax sequence being the same.