Thoranai - Movie Review
Review by : Behindwoods review board
Starring: Vishal, Shriya, Prakash Raj, Santhanam
Direction: Saba Ayyappan
Music: Mani Sharma
Production: GK Films
Thoranai has a very simple story, the kind that used to be very popular in Hindi cinema during the 70s, the tale of long lost brothers reuniting. However, the basic plot that has been made into a movie many times does not automatically mean that Thoranai is not worth a watch. The makers have their intentions in the right place; to make a full length entertainer with minimum fuss. Also, the fact that this theme had been cast aside for quite a few years makes its comeback a bit interesting. The real question is whether Saba Ayyappan has managed to weave a good commercial mix around this simple premise or not.

Geetha has two sons. Influenced in the wrong way, the elder of the two does something inappropriate that really angers his mother. In a fit of rage she inflicts physical punishment on him. Hurt both physically and mentally, the boy runs away from home. Years later, his younger brother (Vishal) decides to come to the city in search of him, to take him back home. But, the city is not friendly to him. He runs into trouble with the local dons of the place (Prakash Raj and Kishore). But he is not the sort of man to
lie down and take all the sticks that are being thrown at him and he hits back. In addition to being at loggerheads with him, the two local dons are fighting against each other for primacy in the area. Unwittingly, Vishal gets caught up in this race to get the better of the other. He is literally caught between the devil and the deep sea. But, there is a big surprise/shock waiting for him in this tussle. He accidentally discovers what he had originally set out for. Into this setting enters Lal, as an honest policeman. How Vishal puts it across the dons, how he finds out his brother (who is his brother?) and persuades him to come back home forms the story.

In the midst of the dons and the brothers, the director has made space for a romance track and a comedy track too. The comic scenes, handled by Santhanam, Paravai Muniamma and Mayilsaamy should be able to impress sections of the audience. But it is tough to appeal across the board to all people. Certain scenes evoke laughter, like the spoof on the yesteryear duet featuring Santhanam and Muniamma. There had been a lot of talk about how Vishal was going to try his hand at comedy in Thoranai. But, barring the scene where he dresses up as Lord Rama and performs a gag to escape from a tight situation, there is nothing else. Even that scene does not have the desired impact. But, it is the romance that fails to leave any impression whatsoever. The chemistry between Vishal and Shriya is totally non-happening. The movie for a large part keeps oscillating between the main plot and the side tracks, frequently interspersed by songs which prevent the central theme from gaining momentum. That is the major drawback of the Thoranai. That apart, the key scene where Vishal identifies his brother could have been better. Also, the means of identification is fetched straight from the annals of cinema (birthmarks, family songs and other similar things).

Vishal is his usual self in Thoranai. The script doesn’t give him the scope to exhibit his skills in comedy. The dons, Prakash Raj and Kishore have walked through their roles with ease. Prakash Raj especially has done similar roles a huge number of times, so there is nothing new on offer. Apart from the main comic stars, there is also M.S. Bhaskar who appears as Prakash Raj’s sidekick and induces a few laughs. Shriya unfortunately is there just for the songs and the glamour. This statement is a bit clichéd but the actress has done nothing else since the days of Sivaji.

Technically, Thoranai is a decent fare. Priyan’s camera has captured a few good visuals, especially in a couple of songs ‘Pattuchcha’ and ‘Vaa Chellam’, the locations are scenic. Music by Mani Sharma is middling. The fights have come out well, as in most Vishal films.

Overall, Thoranai is a film that has been made with the right intentions; to entertain. Quite apparently there has been a conscious effort to incorporate all regular commercial elements to appease the masses. Debut director Saba Ayyappan (also in charge of story and screenplay) has not made full use of a great opportunity. Thoranai does entertain, but a tighter script and better execution could have yielded far better results.

Verdict: Mass entertainer that misses the bull’s eye!

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