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What Is 'Vikram' Director Lokesh Kanagaraj's 'Lokesh Cinematic Universe'?

'Vikram' has introduced the 'cinematic universe' concept to Tamil Cinema

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The multi-starrer Vikram, featuring Kamal Haasan, Vijay Sethupathi and Fahadh Faasil in lead roles, which released on 3 June, is breaking records at the box office. The film opened to rave reviews from critics and the audience alike.

Kamal Haasan is also the producer of the film. Overwhelmed by Vikram's reception, Haasan gifted a Lexus car to director Lokesh Kanagaraj, Apache RTR 160 bikes to 13 assistant directors and a Rolex watch to Suriya, who made a cameo in the film as the character 'Rolex'.

Who is Lokesh Kanagaraj?

Born in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, Lokesh is an ex-bank employee who never went to film school and learnt about films by watching them. He calls Kamal Haasan his godfather in cinema. He started out as a short film-maker while he had a corporate job.

Director Karthik Subbaraj, who was one of the judges during his corporate short film competition, produced his short as a part of the anthology Aviyal. There has been no looking back and his journey has been onwards and upwards since then.

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What Is LCU- The Lokesh Cinematic Universe?

Director Lokesh Kanagaraj is four films old. Barring his debut feature film Managaram and Thalapathy Vijay-starrer Master, his latest venture Vikram starring Kamal Haasan and his second film Kaithi are interlinked with characters that exist in both the worlds.

'Vikram' has introduced the 'cinematic universe' concept to Tamil Cinema

A still from Lokesh Kanaraj-directorial Kaithi starring Karthi and Narain.

(Photo Courtesy: Twitter)

Fans have dubbed this one-of-a-kind storytelling as the ‘LCU' or the 'Lokesh Cinematic Universe’. In addition, Lokesh who is an ardent Kamal fan made Vikram as a spin-off of Kamal Haasan's 1986 release of the same name and brought back the famous agent Vikram on-screen after 36 years.

That makes one wonder if we should call the latest Vikram a Kamal Haasan solar system within the Lokesh Cinematic Universe. In an interaction with a media house, the director too acknowledged that he wanted to create a universe and was glad that fans went a step forward to name it LCU.

'Vikram' has introduced the 'cinematic universe' concept to Tamil Cinema

Stills from Kamal Haasan-starrer Vikram.

(Photo Courtesy: YouTube)

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What Does the Lokesh Cinematic Universe Consist Of?

The films in this imaginative and shared universe deal with the narcotics mafia. Kaithi (2019) was the story about Dilli (Karthi), an ex-convict who, after spending several years in jail, endeavors to reunite with his daughter who stays in an orphanage.

However, he is forced to team up with the cop Bejoy (Narain) to fight against gangsters from the drug mafia, Anbu (Arjun Das) and Adaikalam (Harish Uthaman). The film ended with a hook about a potential sequel covering the past that Dilli and Adaikalam share.

In the latest release Vikram, the cop Bejoy who was part of the drug bust in Kaithi can be seen joining hands with the spy agent Vikram to fight against Santhanam (Vijay Sethupathi).

'Vikram' has introduced the 'cinematic universe' concept to Tamil Cinema

Lokesh Kanagaraj on the sets of Vikram with the characters Amar and Bejoy.

(Photo Courtesy: Instagram/ @narainraam)

Characters like Anbu and Adaikalam can also be seen towards the end along with Suriya who appears in a stunning short cameo as Rolex, the leader of them all.

There is excitement already about the potential faceoff between Dilli and Rolex since Karthi and Suriya are brothers in real life.

Will Vikram 2 be about Vikram Vs Rolex, Kaithi 2 be about Dilli Vs Adaikalam, or maybe the gangsters might end up fighting each other: Adaikalam Vs Anbu, Rolex Vs Adaikalam, Anbu Vs Rolex? What if Santhanam survived the bomb blast in Vikram. Could we see Rolex Vs Santhanam? Or am I just overthinking?

The point is, the list goes on. LCU has opened doors for more possibilities to delve into each character’s life and bring out a bunch of prequels and sequels in this Lokesh Kanagaraj Universe which looks quite unpredictable and endless. But what seems certain is that ‘multi-starrers in multiverses’ are the next big thing. And the fans are in for a royal feast in the coming years.

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Topics:  Kamal Haasan   Vikram   Karthi 

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