Director: H Vinoth
Cast: Karthi, Rakul Preet, Abhimanyu Singh
Tamil cinema and cop flicks have a better love story than Twilight and this love-making has resulted in numerous films in the genre. With many films such as Singam and Saamy turning out to be franchises on its own looks like there won’t be a dearth of it for another few years. But what we have here, the Karthi starrer Theeran Adhigaaram Ondru, won’t just fill a slot in the list, as it’ll also find its way to the top 10 cop flicks ever made in Tamil cinema.
Very rarely in a commercial film is importance given to details, character arcs and acting as such, but this film seems to have done the most of it to the tee. Theeran… is a chapter of a cop as he wades through a tough case that involves a gang of dacoits headed by an amazing Abhimanyu Singh. Based on true events, the film beautiful covers the trials and tribulations of Theeran (Karthi) and his gang of cops trying their best to make sure truth doesn’t bite the dust. What makes Theeran… different is it’s almost realistic take on the issues faced by our cops when they’re out to solve a puzzling case. The film shows the financial troubles of cops, the physical and emotional turmoils they face when they’re stuck to a case, the red-tapism that their higher officials order them to face and the working of the dynamics of the department as such. And there is a similar track for the baddies showing how their network works and these scenes are some of the highlights of this film.
The fact that the film is set on the incidents which happened in the early 2000s makes it even more fascinating as we get a glimpse of technology or actually the lack of it in the police department. With just a couple of fingerprints, the monotonous job of those who go around looking into thousands of such prints looking for a match is well shown. On the lighter side, we also get to see the Reliance Rs. 500 for two phones shown as the latest high-tech gadgets. Talking about the lighter side, director H Vinoth, whose first film Sathuranga Vettai was filled with such amazing one-liners and quirky moments, have managed to sneak in a few in Theeran… too. Our hero sarcastically taking a jib at his higher officials is only one among the many such sequences. The graphics work which explains the backstory without actually depending on a flashback is impressive. The fact that they’ve not dwelled into the details of the sensitive deaths of actual politicians and real castes whose people have set out to rob and kill people, intentionally are some fine touches. Apart from a near-perfect cast, the ones who deserve a mention for working behind the camera would be the cinematographer and the music composer. Be it the romantic sequences, the gory crime scenes or the unforgiving ghats of Rajasthan, the cameraman Sathyan Sooryan has done a splendid job with his lens. I personally liked the ‘Sevatha Pulla’ track but most importantly the background score is where Ghibran shines. The score isn’t overpowering nor out of place and it perfectly synchronises with the intensity on screen. Shivanandeeswaran’s editing and Dhilip Subbarayan’s action sequences too aid the film. The fight sequences have a logic behind them for once and it’s truly a treat to the eyes.
On the negative end of the spectrum, we have the romance portions. The initial love scenes are actually cute and Rakul Preet looks fabulous in her girl-next-door avatar. But as the case gets intriguing, the romance portions weight down the story’s flow. In a film that gives so much importance to realism, the heroism too comes as an eye sore at times. Our hero is the one who finds all the clues at a crime scene, he outruns his colleagues while the rest of em fall down exhausted and he’s the one who single-handedly defeats the villain in the climax in a one on one fist fight while the rest of his clan is totally out of the sequence all of a sudden. Such scenes, the forcefully included romance sequences and the completely out of place item song in the second half show how much a newbie director has to adjust while working with an A-lister. And obviously, without saying, it disrupts the otherwise immensely interesting storyline. The runtime too is close to the three-hour mark.
Overall, Theeran Adhigaaram Ondru is not a regular run off the mill cop flick but a brilliantly made film that, though slows down at times, makes up for it with some impressive shots and sequences.
My rating: 3.5/5