Lal Salaam movie poster

Lal Salaam Movie Review

Hindi | Telugu | Tamil | Malayalam | Kannada


09 Feb 2024 | 150 Mins





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Lal Salaam Movie Review: Rajinikanth, Vishnu Vishal starrer sports drama is the same old story in a brand new package

Aishwarya Rajinikanth’s highly anticipated Lal Salaam, which features Vishnu Vishal and Vikranth in the lead, has just hit the silver screens. Read the full review of the sports drama film below.

Updated on Feb 09, 2024   |  02:36 PM IST  |  217K
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Lal Salaam Movie Review: Rajinikanth steals the show in daughter Aishwarya’s directorial

Lal Salaam Movie Review: Rajinikanth, Vishnu Vishal starrer sports drama is the same old story in a brand new package (PC. Lyca Productions X)

Name: Lal Salaam

Director: Aishwaryaa Rajinikanth

Cast: Rajinikanth,Vishnu Vishal,Kapil Dev,Vikranth

Rating: 2.5

Aishwarya Rajinikanth's most recent movie, Lal Salaam, starring Vishnu Vishal and Vikranth in the main roles, with Rajinikanth making a special appearance, has been the subject of discussion in the town for a while now. The movie, which boasts a talented cast including KS Ravikumar, Senthil, Livingston, Vivek Prasanna, Ananthika Sanilkumar, Jeevitha, and others in significant roles, has recently been released in theaters. However, does the movie meet the high expectations? Let's discover.

Plot of Lal Salaam

Lal Salaam intertwines two distinct worlds, politics and sports, as it explores the exploitation of the latter by the former for their own political gains. Additionally, the film delves into the lives of two young individuals who harbor animosity towards each other due to ego clashes, despite their fathers being close friends. The political forces cunningly manipulate these two youngsters and their conflicts as mere pawns to achieve their objectives. The repercussions of their actions on the lives of the entire village serve as the central theme of the story.

What works in Lal Salaam

The first thing that catches one’s eye is the world-building done by Aishwarya Rajinikanth. The film begins by mentioning that it is set in 1993, in a rural village in Tamil Nadu. The filmmaker has been able to convincingly bring it to life, not just in terms of the physical appearance of the village, but also with the mental and emotional thought process of the villagers. 

Complementing the world-building is the writing and the dialogues in the film. Aishwarya has been able to create raw, gritty, and gripping dialogues that feel natural to the world she has created. Further, the casting for each character has been perfectly done, with all of them doing justice to their respective characters. The performances are something we’ll delve into later. 

The action sequences and stunt choreography in the team also deserve a special mention. The situations build up to a fight naturally with nothing being forced. The actors have executed the scenes spectacularly as well. 

Coming to cinematography, Vishnu Rangasamy’s camera work supports the story perfectly. The vibrant colors, and clever use of warm and cold tones, added with the camera movements help teleport the audience into the fictional world. However, that being said, the cinematography in Lal Salaam only supports the story and fails to elevate it. 

The same can be said about AR Rahman’s music. The music is absolutely heavenly, on its own. But, there are certain portions where the music feels quite detached from what is going on on screen. The songs composed by AR Rahman act as a welcome breather, in between the tense drama. Lastly, the art direction by Ramu Thangaraj deserves a special mention as well, and ties the entire story together, making it look more authentic.

Check out the trailer of Lal Salaam below:

What does not work in Lal Salaam

While telling a socio-political story, it is quite important to not sound preachy to the audience, and that is where Lal Salaam fails. There were several scenes where the dialogues preached moral values, which act as a buzzkill while watching the film,

Additionally, Aishwarya Rajinikanth's attempt to adopt a non-linear narrative style adds to the confusion in the middle of the film. The story jumps back and forth between the past and the present, making it challenging to keep up with during the first half. However, as the film progresses, everything starts to make sense and come together by the end. Nevertheless, the audience is left to piece together the puzzle by themselves.

Moreover, the movie becomes rather predictable, particularly towards the conclusion, as if the scene has been repeated countless times before. The ending feels rushed, and the characters would have benefited from a more satisfying outcome.

As mentioned earlier, the music in the movie kind of ruins the vibe, making it feel disconnected from the story unfolding on the screen. Additionally, it seemed like the creators of Lal Salaam had a lot to express, with well-crafted characters and a compelling storyline. However, there was a lack of effective communication.

Performances in Lal Salaam

No doubt about it, the performances steal the show in Lal Salaam. Thiru, played by Vishnu Vishal, goes through a whirlwind of emotions and the actor effortlessly portrays them. Vikranth, as Samsu, also has a well-developed character with a range of emotions, from anger to calmness to angst, at different points in the story.

The performances by Senthil and KS Ravikumar also deserve a special mention. In fact, there is an entire sequence where Senthil’s performance is sure to bring tears to anyone’s eyes. Senthil’s performance was not just realistic, but also quite relatable. Furthermore, Vivek Prasanna has done a fantastic role as the film's prime antagonist as well.

However, Rajinikanth easily stole the show with his performance as Moideen Bhai. The veteran actor shone through, bringing the swag and suave that is inherent in him. Further, Aishwarya Rajinikanth has been able to showcase the emotional side of Rajinikanth’s character, further making the character more relatable. The ease with which Rajinikanth pulls off the action sequences, as well as the way he brings the character of Moideen Bhai to life, is proof of why he is still the Superstar of Kollywood.

Verdict of Lal Salaam

Despite all its flaws, Lal Salaam is definitely worth a watch. The film never lags even for a second, and carries the audience through a wonderful journey, telling a tale that is quite relevant especially today. Aishwarya Rajinikanth puts forth an important theme - Humanity transcends all differences - in quite an entertaining manner. The use of sports to tell a political tale has seldom been done before, and Aishwarya Rajinikanth pulls it off quite convincingly.


A graduate in Economics, with heart made of cinema, Devasankar is vividly in love with world cinema! A true believer of the phrase cinema has no bo...

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