Vikram's latest film Cobra released with a run-time of a little over three hours after giving us a hint about a mathematical connection to the protagonist. After the audience’s feedback, the duration was reduced by 20 minutes on the second day of its release. I got curious and calculated the geometric progression of this number to figure out when it would be ideal to watch it and I made a discovery - I hate maths.
The story revolves around Madhiazhagan (Vikram), a mathematical genius moonlighting as an international assassin. Remember how in KGF 2, Yash stalks Srinidhi Shetty and eventually she falls in love with him? In Cobra, she switches sides.
Meanwhile, Madhi is on a spree, executing high profile murders in style - right from an Indian chief minister, a Scottish prince, a French mayor, and a Russian defense minister. He kills them all and is still roaming free.
With a lover who is chasing him to marry her and the Interpol officers hunting him, what will happen next? Why did he become an assassin? Does he come from a place of trauma, which prevents him from saying yes to the marriage? Director Ajay Gnanamuthu tries to answer these questions. He has interesting ideas, but the movie fails to shine because of a suffocating screenplay.
Prosthetic-heavy looks, dual identities, an intellectual premise and an emotional treatment - if you are a Vikram fan, you know these are the recurring elements in the actor's filmography. Most of the time, it works for him. Unfortunately, Cobra fails to impress us.
However, scenes that involve his hallucinations work brilliantly.
Apart from Vikram, there are some interesting characters but we don’t know much about them. Irfan Pathan as Aslan, an Interpol officer, and Roshan Mathew as Rishi, a billionaire’s heir running a mafia, shine in their roles. Srinidhi Shetty as a professor of criminology, Meenakshi Govindarajan as a smart student and Mrinalini Ravi as young Vikram’s romantic interest are also impressive.
AR Rahman’s music in the film is both a boon and a bane. The songs are beautiful and the background music is great. However, the music does overpower the dialogues at times.
One of Vikram's best performances would be from the blockbuster Anniyan. Cobra tries to be Vikram's Anniyan 2, but the attempt does not succeed. The film wants to be intelligent but doesn't want to give up on logical loopholes and cliches either.
The problem is Cobra tries to be everything except for what it truly intends to be.
Despite Ajay Gnanamuthu's promising premise and Vikram’s steady acting, Cobra slithers away without creating an impact.