The Beast, the star of Kollywood (Tamil) for Vijay, still seems different, if only because of how vigorously its creators are trying to sell their lead as a 21st century renaissance man. Vijay («Master») can dance a little, drive a car through various glass surfaces, and also decapitate a terrorist, and then throw the disembodied head of this guy out of a high window. Not to mention the scene where Vijay puts on roller skates and literally skates in circles around a group of masked extremists.
Vijay’s notion of «all for all» is celebrated throughout, such as in the refrain of one anthem song that hails the chipmunk-cheeked hero as «leaner, meaner, stronger». In the closing issue, Vijay is also described as «a multi-faceted tiger with a multi-faceted avatar». At this point in the film, Vijay is flying back from Pakistan in a rented military jet, having just destroyed a terrorist camp on his own.
In The Beast, Vijay plays Veera, a superhumanly resourceful former member of the intelligence agency of the Indian Research and Analysis Wing (RAW). Veera retired from RAW eleven years prior to the film’s present day: in the opening flashback, Veera inadvertently blows up a little girl with a rocket launcher. Look, there’s no way to make this story sound any less crazy than it is, so let’s stop the paragraph.
So, now Veera is very sensitive to children, which explains why he only returns to action after now working for a bankrupt security company and hearing the screams of destitute children after ISIS-style terrorists took over Chennai’s East Coast mall. . These terrorists are ruthless, as we can see from the way one of them hit a woman with the back of his hand and injured the crying girl. (among other things) the ISS terrorists are led by Saif (Ankur Ajit Vikal), who spends most of the film wearing a latex mask oddly reminiscent of Anton LaVey, and his treacherous accomplice, the unnamed Indian government home secretary (Shaji Chen), as we see in an early scene .
The caricature-ruthless nature of Saif’s guys is a matter of course. Or maybe it’s just not as often highlighted as Veera’s equally brutal countermeasures. There’s also nothing excusable or controversial about the film’s violence, which is effectively played out for fun in a few fast-paced sets. In an early scene, Veera also cuts off the arm of a masked villain at the elbow joint. And he stabs two ISS terrorists to death in front of mall hostages. In between murders, Veera pretends to be dead to fake her second victim. «It’s all right,» he tells the hostages after he stabbed the second guy in the head. The crowd seems to believe Veera, as in a later scene a very nervous civilian (of course, the prolific Tamil comedian Yogi Babu) is beaten up by ISS terrorists but refuses to denounce Veera.