Movie Review : Lal Salaam


‘Superstar’ Rajinikanth

Vishnu Vishal


Kapil Dev(Cameo)


Ananthika Sanilkumar





Thambi Ramaiah

Adithya Menon

Vivek Prasanna

Dhanya balakrishna



Production : Lyca Productions

Producer : Subaskaran

Screenplay & Director : Aishwarya Rajinikanth

Music :’Isai Puyal’ A.R.Rahman

Cinematography : Vishnu Rangasamy

Editing : B.Pravin baaskar

Art Director : Ramu Thangaraj

Choreography : Dinesh

Stunt Director : ‘Anal’ Arasu, ‘Kickass’ Kaali, ‘Stunt’ Vicky

Lyrics : Yuga Bharathi, Snehan, Kabilan, Vivek, AR Rahman, Mashook Rahman

Story & Dialogue Writer : Vishnu Rangasamy

Costume Designer: Sathya NJ

Sound Designer : Prathap

Sound Mixing : S. Sivakumar (AM studios)

Stills : R.S. Raja

Publicity Designer : Kabilan Chelliah

Head of Lyca Productions : G.K.M. Tamil kumaran

Executive Producer : Subramanian Narayanan

PRO : Riaz.K.Ahmed

The story is set in a small village in 1993. Vested political interests want to instigate divisive communal politics in a peaceful village, in order to gain votes.

Thiru ( Vishnu Vishal) a talented cricketer in one of the local teams there, lands up in the thick of things,  when  Shamsuddin (Vikranth), his childhood buddy, and son of his father's best friend, powerful Bombay businessman, Moideen Bhai (Rajinikanth), is called to play in a rival team. 

During the match, things get out of hand when violence is instigated by vested interests ( Vivek Prasanna) and the hot headed Thiru attacks and injures Shamsuddin, who loses his arm and his budding Ranji Trophy career.

Naturally a dejected Shamsu is baying for his rival's blood. In the meantime, things get from bad to worse in the village, when a village festival chariot is destroyed.

With all the communal tension around,   does Thiru manage to save his life, career friendship and harmony in the village? What is Moideen Bhai's role in all of this? Are the vested interests defeated?

Director Aishwarya Rajnikanth deserves kudos for choosing to explore a subject which seeks to give the viewer a message of social harmony.

The grandeur of the project comes through with the large cast, scenes of the resplendant thiruvizha, the life of Moideen bhai in a grand mansion in Mumbai, the cricket matches and many more scenes that establish the scale of the project. The added cameo of Kapil Dev ups the ante.

Superstar Rajinikanth's presence looms large all over the film,  even though he is touted to be doing a guest appearance. The regal bearing of his character matched with noble thoughts of social harmony and human values, leave a mark. The family scenes with Nirosha and the emotional bond with his son, stand out.  There are brief but well handled action blocks too for the fans. 

Vikranth proves his mettle as a performer all through,  both as a cricketer and in the emotional outburst scenes after his life changes. His screen bonding scenes with his father are good as well. 

Vishnu Vishal shines as the agressive and emotional cricketer, son and brother. The action blocks, cricket scenes and the climax segments stand out.  Be it romance, emotion, drama, frustration, he portrays varied shades successfully.

The supporting cast of Senthil, Thambi Ramaiah,Vivek Prasanna, Dhanya do justice to their roles, upping the drama and emotion.

Rahman's songs, Ae Pulla, Ther Thiruvizha are well conceptualised and filmed and the beats linger on long after. 

The film moves at a steady pace, keeping you rivetted, but the non -linear screenplay demands full attention and the various time periods can get a bit much to keep track of.

 The film seems to slow down in places, with repetitive seeming scenes and dialogues, where the editing could have perhaps helped speed things up.

The emotions are at an all time high in most scenes, and one can't help but feel a bit of editing on the melodrama  would have worked well. 

The focus moves swiftly from cricket to politics, social harmony and family relationships, without enough breathing time to let the emotions sink in. A large ensemble cast takes time getting used to. 

Heroine Ananthika makes a solid but brief appearance, and seems forgotten after a point. 

However, several scenes do stand out,  like Senthil's and Thambi Ramaiah's performances,  Vikranth and Vishnu Vishal's outbursts, the climax scenes and Rajinikanth's overriding presence  and  messages for social harmony.

Overall, a film made for family audiences, with emotions, love, drama,  family sentiments and a social message. 

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