K.V Anand's formula of concocting mass entertainers needs some fixing. He fails to realize that throwing elements randomly into a screenplay (this one co-written with Pattukottai Prabhakar) to cater to every segment of the audience doesn't work in 2019. For starters, he plants red herrings in the first half-hour to make the audience think that the character played by Suriya might be a baddie. (Why go the Ajith route? Just for the heck of it?) Also, why forcefully insert 'farming issues' into a plot that already has plenty along the lines of SPG officers, double agents, corporate bigshots, the PMO, and more?
As a result, Anand is unable to commit himself to make a movie that talks in-depth about farmer problems, which has been the plot-driver for most 'mass entertainers' these days. Neither does he capture the lives and day-to-day functionalities of SPG officers well enough. Everything has a half-baked feel. The PMO is played by Mohanlal, who does a very serviceable job in the role. He can do infinitely better, we all know that. It's Anand's subpar writing that does him no good. What saved Anand in his earlier outings was the deliberate raciness added to his screenplays by writer-duo Subha.
The action set-pieces are nicer when their scale is not the largest. By scale, I mean the consequences. For instance, the fight sequence in a ramshackle house in Kashmir is done superbly. The shots are crisp, the lighting is sharp, and the punches/kicks seem like they land well. Any set-piece involving an explosion? Just the opposite. The train sequence would probably be the most disappointing among the lot.
Arya plays the role of the PMO's son who cares more about alcohol, pizza, and parties. In other words, he's supposed to be the comic relief. In all fairness, some of his lines do tickle the funny bone but for the most part, one gets the feeling that his character belongs entirely in another movie. Sayyesha plays the quintessential big-film heroine with some interesting shades that aren't fully explored. The songs (and their placement) are the standard entertainer fare, nothing out of this world.
And finally, let's get to the man himself - Suriya. After NGK, one wonders what was going through his mind when he was listening to this script. Probably the action bits intrigued him, and the blatant addition of the 'farmer' element meant it would appeal to the masses. Well, too sad that none of it worked out well enough. It's time for Suriya to prioritize scripts that bring out the 'true actor' in him, not the 'mass hero'.