Vijay Thalapathy is one of the most popular and successful actors in Tamil cinema. He has acted in more than 60 films since his debut in 1992. His latest film, Leo, directed by Lokesh Kanagaraj, has received rave reviews and a massive opening at the box office. The film features Vijay as a vigilante who fights against corruption and injustice. Leo is being hailed as one of the best films of Vijay’s career.
But how does Leo compare to Vijay’s other recent films? Here is a ranking of 10 of his films released after 2015, based on their critical and commercial performance, as well as their impact on Vijay’s image and fan base.
10. Bairavaa (2017)
Bairavaa was a typical masala film that had Vijay playing a loan recovery agent who takes on a corrupt medical college owner. The film was criticized for its weak plot, poor execution, and lack of originality. It also faced competition from other releases like Khaidi No. 150 and Gautamiputra Satakarni. Bairavaa was a moderate success at the box office, but failed to impress the critics and the audience.
9. Puli (2015)
Puli was a fantasy adventure film that had Vijay playing a warrior who travels to a different world to rescue his lover from an evil queen. The film had high expectations due to its star cast, which included Sridevi, Shruti Haasan, Hansika Motwani, and Sudeep. However, the film was a huge disappointment due to its poor graphics, illogical script, and lackluster direction but sure to be appreciated for the out of the box thinking. Puli was a flop at the box office and received negative reviews from all quarters.
8. Varisu (2021)
Varisu was a family drama that had Vijay playing a dual role of father and son. The film dealt with the issues of inheritance, sibling rivalry, and parental love. The film was praised for its emotional quotient, performances, and music. However, it also faced criticism for its predictable plot, slow pace, and melodramatic scenes. Varisu was a hit at the box office, but not among Vijay’s best films.
7. Beast (2022)
Beast was an action thriller that had Vijay playing a secret agent who battles a terrorist group. The film was directed by Nelson Dilipkumar and featured Pooja Hegde as the female lead. The film was appreciated for its stylish presentation, slick action sequences, and Vijay’s charisma. However, it also had its flaws such as weak villains, forced comedy, and lack of depth.
6. Bigil (2019)
Bigil was a sports drama that had Vijay playing a dual role of father and son. The film was directed by Atlee and featured Nayanthara as the female lead. The film was lauded for its message of women empowerment, social commentary, and mass appeal. However, it also had its drawbacks such as excessive length, cliched scenes, and unrealistic moments. Bigil was a super hit at the box office and got highly positive response for character Rayappan.
5. Sarkar (2018)
Sarkar was a political thriller that had Vijay playing a corporate CEO who challenges the corrupt system after his vote is rigged. The film was directed by A.R. Murugadoss and featured Keerthy Suresh as the female lead. The film was praised for its relevant theme, powerful dialogues, and Vijay’s performance. However, it also faced controversy for its depiction of certain political parties and leaders. Sarkar was a mega hit at the box office.
4. Master (2021)
Master was an action drama that had Vijay playing an alcoholic professor who clashes with a ruthless gangster played by Vijay Sethupathi. The film was directed by Lokesh Kanagaraj and featured Malavika Mohanan as the female lead. The film was applauded for its engaging screenplay, stellar performances, and brilliant direction. However, it also had its shortcomings such as weak romance, excessive violence, and compromised climax. During the film, he responded the film will be 50:50 Film of Vijay and Lokesh and his next film (Leo) would be 100% Lokesh Film.
3. Leo (2023)
Leo is an action thriller that has Vijay playing Partiban, a bakery owner living with his family and became a local hero after series of events. The film is directed by Lokesh Kanagaraj and features Sanjay Dutt as the main antagonist. The film is being hailed for the extraordinary first half. Leo have all the elements and saw an unusual and more grounded vijay and Lokesh gave lots of scope for the acting for Vijay. Leo got mixed reviews and the biggest negative for the film was the Flashback portion. Still the film is an strong film in the filmography of Vijay. However, it is too early to judge its long-term impact and legacy.
2. Mersal (2017)
Mersal was an action drama that had Vijay playing a triple role of father and two sons. The film was directed by Atlee and featured Kajal Aggarwal, Samantha Akkineni, and Nithya Menen as the female leads. The film was acclaimed for its social message, stunning visuals, and Vijay’s versatility. However, it also faced controversy for its criticism of GST and the medical system.
1. Theri (2016)
Theri was an action drama that had Vijay playing a cop who goes into hiding with his daughter after his wife is killed by a gangster. The film was directed by Atlee and featured Samantha Akkineni and Amy Jackson as the female leads. The film was loved for its emotional core, thrilling action scenes, and Vijay’s performance. However, it also had its drawbacks such as predictable plot, weak villain, and forced comedy.
However, despite their flaws, all these films have showcased Vijay’s talent, charisma, and star power. He has proved that he can pull off any genre, any role, and any challenge. He has also earned the love and respect of millions of fans across the world. He is truly a Thalapathy of Tamil cinema.
Source: Conversation with Bing, 20/10/2023
(1) Leo movie release: Vijay Thalapathy is a massive star; Leo will cross Rs 200 crores in the opening week. https://www.msn.com/en-in/news/other/leo-movie-release-vijay-thalapathy-is-a-massive-star-leo-will-cross-rs-200-crores-in-the-opening-week/ar-AA1iyqOc.
(2) Leo Movie Box Office Collection Updates: Thalapathy Vijay Film Takes Historic Opening. https://www.timesnownews.com/entertainment-news/tamil/leo-movie-review-live-updates-thalapathy-vijay-sanjay-dutt-lokesh-kanagaraj-leo-full-movie-box-office-collection-updates-report-liveblog-104535918.
(3) Leo Kerala Box Office Collection Day 1: Record-Breaking Opening Day Triumph For Vijay Movie. https://www.filmibeat.com/malayalam/2023/leo-kerala-box-office-collection-day-1-record-breaking-opening-day-triumph-for-vijay-movie-370583.html.
(4) Vijay filmography – Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vijay_filmography.
(5) Vijay Movies List (1992-2022) – IMDb. https://www.imdb.com/list/ls565441973/.
(6) Vijay Movie List 1992-2021 – IMDb. https://www.imdb.com/list/ls500257853/.