Jun 18 2012
Director Magilzh Thirumeni seems to be following his mentor Gautham Menon’s footsteps quite faithfully. Gautham started his career with an urban romance Minnale and then shifted tracks to make the thriller Kaakka Kaakka. Magilzh too, after debuting with the urban romance Mundhinam Paarthene, has opted to make an action film for his sophomore effort. Thadaiyara Thaakka is a masala film in structure as it features a hero who takes on some powerful rowdies. But its grim tone and the importance it affords its villains make it different in tone from the hero-centric masala films we are used to. That helps keep it interesting until things get a bit too contrived near the end.
Selva(Arun Vijay) runs a call-taxi service and is on the verge of landing a big contract with a software firm. That gives him the confidence to ask for his girlfriend Priya’s(Mamta Mohandas) hand. When one of the women working at the software firm talks to him about her husband who has been kidnapped for defaulting on his loan, Selva tries to get him back. That brings him face to face with Maha(Maha) and his brother Kumar(Vamsi Krishna), the rowdies who rule the area and are behind the kidnapping.
Like most masala movies, Thadaiyara Thaakka uses romance and comedy as fillers until it gets to the meat of the story. With Arun and Mamta already in love when the film starts, the film makes their romance quite naughty without seeming vulgar. The comedy is sparse but maybe because of that, the scenes with Arun’s friends(like the one where they comment on the food Mamta has prepared) are quite funny. Mamta pretty much disappears in the second half(she doesn’t even have to make the usual appearance in duets since the film has only 1 duet in the first half) while the friends’ involvement becomes more serious.
When Arun Vijay meets Maha’s gang to negotiate the woman’s husband’s freedom, the storyline seems poised to follow the familiar hero vs rowdies route. But the twist regarding one of the bad guys takes the story in a different direction as Arun Vijay, instead of routinely standing up to the rowdies, is forced to go on the run and try to mediate with them. The twist also adds a layer of suspense to the proceedings as it introduces a mystery and keeps us guessing about whether Arun is telling the whole truth.
The bad guys in our movies are usually caricatures who issue weak warnings to the hero and end up serving as punching bags to him. While Thadaiyara Thaakka doesn’t rise to Mouna Guru’s level in giving us smart, realistic villains, it does focus more on them more than the average masala film. This makes us understand the dynamics among the villains, leading to its own small surprises and showing us that their motivations are not always straightforward. The glimpses we get of the bad guys initially tells us that we are in for a grim film and the film doesn’t go back on that promise either. The violence is harsh and brutal, right upto the end the bad guys meet.
But the differences the film introduces in the storyline eventually prove to be its undoing. The key mystery is solved in a rather unbelievable manner. And as the story winds down, things get a bit muddled and there are too many contrivances to bring about the desired ending.
Arun Vijay does action well as always and takes a laidback approach in the romance scenes. Mamta is tall and pretty and the two share good chemistry. Maha and Vamsi Krishna make convincing rowdies and are able to convey menace without being loud. There are only two songs, one of which is still an item number.
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