Cobra review: This Vikram-starrer is over-ambitious and complicated

While 'Cobra' starts decently, an hour or so into it, we realise that Director Gnanamuthu is confused and the film goes haywire.

ByLatha Srinivasan

Published:Aug 31, 2022

chiyaan vikram in cobra
To make it an interesting watch, Cobra needs to be trimmed down by 30 minutes.

Cobra (Tamil)

  • Cast: Vikram, Srinidhi Shetty, Irfan Khan, Roshan Mathew, Mrinalini Ravi, Meenakshi Govindarajan and Mia George
  • Director: Ajay Gnanamuthu
  • Producer: SS Lalit Kumar
  • Music: AR Rahman
  • Runtime: 3 hours 3 minutes

Chiyaan Vikram is back on the big screen, after 2019, with director Ajay Gnanamuthu’s film Cobra. Though he had a release earlier this year in the form of Mahaan, the movie was premiered on OTT directly.

Expectations started building up ever since Cobra went on the floors in October 2019, but was delayed due to the pandemic. It is finally out now to entertain the viewers.

Vikram is known for his stellar performances. In his latest release, he went all out to play the role of mathematical genius Madhi, who is also a hit man.

As Cobra starts, we see two assassinations — the chief minister of Odisha in Coimbatore and the prince of Scotland.

Interpol agent Aslan (Irfan Pathan) begins investigating these two “seemingly unrelated” murders. He finds clues through college student Judith (Meenakshi) that could lead to a mathematical genius.

The connection Aslan finds between them is that they criticise an organisation owned by Rishi (Roshan Mathew) and it’s being carried out by someone named Cobra. With Aslan and a hacker (Srinidhi Shetty) on his tail, how long can Cobra evade them?

Too lengthy and convoluted

vikram cobra

Vikram stands out in Ajay Gnanamuthu’s Cobra and carries the whole film to the end. (chiyaan/Twitter)

Firstly, with a lengthy runtime of 183 minutes, this movie needed to be extraordinary to keep the audience glued to their seats.

Ajay Gnanamuthu is a good director, and with a talented actor like Vikram in his film, his desire to have lofty ambitions is understandable. However, the story and the writing let both of them down, and also the audience.

Cobra is a “thriller meets drama” and we have seen many Hollywood films in this genre already. So, it needed to be presented as something gripping and novel.

Throwing in the mathematical genius angle was probably an attempt, but the narrative just gets too complicated and convoluted.

A sense of déjà vu

It’s tiring to see numerous unnecessary scenes that have been stretched in the name of thriller/drama. While Cobra starts decently, an hour or so into it and we realise that the director is confused and the film simply goes haywire.

When one watches a Vikram film, one knows that he can act and his performance will be stellar. In Cobra, there is a sense of déjà vu — all his different get-ups remind us of Anniyan, and he has played characters with two distinct shades earlier too.

In Cobra, it is Vikram who stands out and carries the movie to the end. Full marks to him for believing in the script and the director.

However, none of the other characters seems to have been given much thought — Roshan Mathew is a good actor, but his character Rishi was sloppily written; Aslan was well played by Irfan Pathan and Srinidhi Shetty also delivered.

Exhausting to watch

Director Gnanmuthu does have some interesting ideas that shine in parts of the film, but he hasn’t carried them through.

The flashes of brilliance we see are just not enough to keep the film flowing smoothly, especially with unnecessary plot twists appearing ever so often.

To make the film more watchable, Cobra needed to be trimmed down by 30 minutes (at least) with some tight editing.

Madhi taking us to 13 different places in a span of three hours would have been exciting during the narration, but watching it is exhausting.