From LCU to ‘A History of Violence’: Things You Need to Know about ‘Leo’ before Its Release

INDIA: Mr. Leo Das is a badass! Only a few days are left until the arrival of Thalapathy Vijay starrer Leo, and with each passing moment, the hype for the Lokesh Kanagarj-directed Tamil film is doubling. The trailer itself was the pinnacle of high-octane action sequences, with Vijay in ferocious and, of course, his “badass” mode.

Though the singles crafted by Anirudh and the latest trailer have left a long-lasting impression, which is obviously enough to magnet the audience to big screens, there is still a debate among fans over whether it is part of Lokesh Cinematic Universe (LCU) or a solo film. Some also pointed out from the clip that the story shares a similarity with David Cronenberg’s “A History of Violence.”

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Given the speculations about Leo’s connection with LCU and its resemblance to A History of Violence, here’s a detailed analysis of what to expect from the film.

Is Leo part of LCU?

Coming back to the point of Leo being a part of LCU, we have to look back at the Bloody Sweet Promo released in February.

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The clip crafts the lore of the Lokesh Kanagaraj-directed film with the visual storytelling of Vijay’s character and Anirudh’s BGM describing his whole persona. The promo video with Anirudh’s music, the protagonist’s character presentation, and all is not new for Kanagaraj. Earlier, he did the same with Kamal Hassan’s Vikram.

Another point that grabs our attention that only eagle-eyed fans spotted in the promo clip is the bags with a scorpion logo on them. The same logo and all the bag things also appeared in Kaithi (2018) and Vikram (2022); in fact, in both films, the logo is embedded on a drug-contained package, but in Leo, it is on a chocolate or cocoa bean-filled bag.

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There is also a reason behind it, but before that, we have to question one thing: why does Lokesh picture Leo Das as a baker, and that too, especially making chocolate products? Yes, he has also shown Leo while forging metal, basically a sword, but let’s keep it aside for a moment.

To answer this, we have to look at Vikram, where the drug cocaine is the whole crux of the story, and similarly in Kaithi too. Both films revolved around drug busts and the drug mafia. In Vikram, it is clear that the big baddie running the whole syndicate is Rolex, played by Suriya. Some fans also consider a scorpion as Rolex’s logo to brand his drug. In particular, fans have also associated Vikram with an eagle, Rolex with a scorpion, and Leo with a lion.

The main constituent used to manufacture cocaine is the leaf of the coca plant (Erythroxylum coca) bush. From the Theobroma cacao plant, cocoa beans are extracted, which are used to make chocolate. Both plant shares similarity anatomically. This, on the whole, clarifies Leo making chocolate and the scorpion logo on the cocoa bag.

Another factor is that Vasanthi, the actor who played the role of Agent Tina in Vikram, was also spotted with the Leo team while filming was going on in Kashmir. In a nutshell, the mention of scorpion logo bag and Agent Tina establishes a connection between Leo and LCU.

Similarity of Leo with ‘A History of Violence’ and ‘Baashha’

That being said, now comes Leo and its similarity with A History of Violence, which was released in 2005. The David Cronenberg feature was loosely adapted from a 1997 DC graphic novel of the same name. The film featured Viggo Mortensen, J. C. Spink, Ed Harris, and William Hurt. On its release, the featurette bagged loads of praise and critical acclaim, which also included an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor and Best Adapted Screenplay. It has often been hailed as “one of the greatest films of the 2000s.”

‘Leo’ poster (left) and ‘A History of Violence’ poster (right). Photo Credit: X

The feature follows the story of Joey Cusack (Viggo Mortensen), a professional hitman who leaves his violent past behind and adopts the new persona of Tom Stall, a diner living in the fictional town of Millbrook, Indiana, with his wife and kids. One fateful day, he kills two robbers who were attempting to rob the restaurant. This incident labels Tom as a hero of the town, but it also reveals his violent past and his connection with the Irish mob.

A similar story can be seen in the Leo trailer, where Vijay’s character appears in the same scenario. Instead of a diner, Vijay is a baker and owns a bakery. The Irish mob is replaced with Sanjay Dutt as Antony Das and Arjun Sarja as Harold Das, who share a dark past with Vijay’s Leo Das. The trailer also shows the two versions of Leo, where in one shot he is young with short black hair and in the other, he appears to be in his early 40’s or late 30’s with long peppered hair.

When asked about the source material behind Leo, Lokesh Kangaraj said in an interview with Behindwoods, “I have been reading about these things from the beginning. Is this movie based on this or the remake of that? Or whether or not Leo is part of LCU. But, I have not answered these questions because I don’t want my responses to disturb the theatrical experience of the audience in any way. Let them watch it with a fresh mind. I will discuss all these things post the release.”

Given Kanagaraj’s response to the question, he refrained from providing a direct answer and instead said to wait for the film’s release.

Keeping aside A History of Violence, some fans also pointed out the resemblance between Leo and Superstar Rajinikanth’s Baashha (1995). The Tamil film follows the story of Manickmam (Rajinikanth), a rickshaw driver who was once a gangster. One tragic incident triggers his violent old self.

We also get a specific shot in the trailer where Leo is beaten by goons, but with a long, deep breath, he unleashes the old beast hidden within him. This could be the moment for Vijay’s Leo, which was for Rajinikanth’s Baashha.

So, from this detailed analysis, we have a basic idea of what the film will be about. To get a clearer picture, we have to wait for its release on October 19.

Also Read: Leo: Sanjay Dutt as Menancing Villian to Face off with Vijay in Lokesh Kanagaraj’s Film

Originally posted 2023-10-15 19:31:04.