Theeran Adhigaaram Ondru - Reader Review

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Theeran Adhigaaram Ondru - Reader Review

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Director Vinoth, after his debut film (Saturanga Vettai) has joined hands with Karthi in an investigative action thriller which is based on the real incidents of Operation Bawaria. Dream Warrior Pictures, the emerging production company which is gaining the reputation of backing good content has also joined hands in this project.

The director of photography Sathyan Sooryan has played a huge hand in breathing life into the screenplay which spans over a decade. The tonal shifts from the national highways of Tamilnadu to the rustic villages of Rajasthan brings a whole new level of authenticity to the investigation. The clarity in action scenes and the tension that ramps up along with it brings to fore the noteworthy achievement in lighting and angles. Some shades of inspiration from the Mad Max Fury Road can be sensed.

Stunt/action choreography by Dhilip Subbarayan is one of the major highlights of the film. With very little usage of ‘masala’ hero cliches, the action pieces are stunning, engrossing and brilliantly staged to attain maximum impact. The detailing and ruthlessness of the dacoits are also well researched and brought out unflinchingly on screen. Editor Sivanandesswaran does a neat job of capturing the procedural, investigative process while also maintaining a quick paced action narrative. Credit for clarity in action scenes is also equally shared by the Editor.

Music for the film by Ghibran which consists of six songs is a mixed bag. The songs are used in quick short sessions as montages except for one dance choreographed song which doesn’t create any impression or connect as such. The background score for the initial romance portions reminded of Uttama Villain. One particular action scene which happens inside the tribe’s village had literally ripped off and used music from the film Mad Max Fury Road. That was completely unexpected from a talent like Ghibran. The jarring and loud scoring of the film did only work with few scenes while it most of times drowned out the dialogue which consequently hampered the audience to fully follow the happenings of the operation. Sound mixing of the film was also badly conceived with sounds/effects overpowering other parameters. This film definitely deserved a better soundscape. The performances lead by Karthi as Theeran is outstanding with very many extremes of emotions.

From being the dutiful cop, to being the human who easily moves on seeing the fate of the innocent victims to the animalistic fervour to chase down the dacoit gang, Karthi brings his full repertoire to work while also balancing the very many shades of Theeran. After a string of below par stuff, Theeran has put Karthi back on the map. The casting of the Bawaria Gang was pitch perfect and that has lended credibility to the proceedings in a big way. The other supporting actors did the job assigned to them.

The writing and direction of Vinoth firstly deserve appreciation for making a well researched script after a long time in Tamil Cinema. The authenticity of the true events are kept intact but the research that has also gone into the history of the Tribe (Kuttraparambarai) is what makes the writing stand apart. The politics behind the entire history of the crime is also analysed and insightful questions are posed. This is one of the very rare scripts which has handled a real incident in a holistic way. The direction of the detailed filled script laded with action with such conviction shows that Vinoth is not a one hit wonder. The use of Aalavandhan styled technique for bloody scenes and animation for the history portions are noteworthy.

The entire romance angle and the character of Rakul Preet did not add anything substantial to the narrative nor did it add commercially to the viability of the film. The entire screenplay could have only focussed on the Operation Bawaria and film would have still got the same appreciation. The elements of ‘comedy’ sprinkled with Sathyan stuck out like a sore thumb. Little more clarity in the interval sequence behind the motives of the dacoit gang being chased by the police would have made the sequence more powerful. The usage of songs in the film was just ceremonial and could have been done away with. Theeran Adhigaram Ondru is one of the better films to come out of Tamil Cinema this year. Dream Warrior Pictures are showing signs of becoming a new force. With Aruvi and the untitled Selvaraghavan film lined up, they are sure to make more eyebrows raise. H Vinoth proves that an event based action genre film when executed well can keep the audience on their toes. This will hopefully open doors for more detailed, probing crime thrillers. The research and sincerity towards the making of the film alone will warrant a mandatory watch in a theatre near you.


Sriraman Srinivasan
sriramanadvocate@gmail.com
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