Nov 27 2017

Theeran Adhigaram Ondru

Published by at 9:20 pm under Review,Tamil Cinema


Cop movies in Tamil movie have mostly been masala movies that showed our heroes taking on powerful enemies – usually politicians or rowdies – though there have recently been some that opted for realism and took a darker, deglamorized look at the police and their workings(Visaaranai comes to mind). Theeran Adhigaram Ondru, successfully walks the line between the two. With some masala trappings but not enough to damage the seriousness, it is focused and intense for the most part and one of the more impressive police movies to come out of Tamil cinema in recent times.

A key reason for the film working so well in that middle area between masala and serious drama is that Theeran(Karthi) is a supercop but not a superhero (something similar could be said about Karthi, who fits the role since he is a star but not a superstar). Theeran gets his share of slo-mo shots, one-sided fights and supreme deduction skills. But there are times when he is human, like the time when he and the other cops are forced to acknowledge that their plan didn’t work and beat a hasty retreat from a village in Haryana. So there are several suspenseful moments, something that rarely happens in a movie with a big star.

The film’s biggest distraction is the romantic track. On its own, the romance between Theeran and Priya(Rakul Preeti Singh) is cute and has its share of laughs. His tuition sessions are fun and Rakul flirts close to the line but doesn’t cross it when it comes to acting cutesy. Some good laughs are extracted from Priya’s interest in studying and both Manobala and Sathyan have a couple of funny lines. The problem is that these romantic sequences are interspersed with the really violent acts of the dacoit gang as they break into houses and kill the inhabitants before taking off with the loot. So some tonal whiplash occurs as the two sequences alternate. But compartmentalization is something we are used to in Tamil cinema and since Theeran is still not involved with the case, the romantic interludes are easier to take. Priya isn’t around a lot once the case becomes Theeran’s primary focus but the director handles her exclusion differently and even if not physical, her involvement in the events is palpable.

A lot of research has gone into the events behind the film(it is based on actual events). The most obvious is the background information and history of the various violent tribes and groups that ties in directly with the dacoits Theeran goes up against. Though delivered rather unimaginatively(Theeran narrates the story as a voiceover when questioned), the newness of the information and the striking graphics of the animation spice things up. But its not just in these history lessons that the film’s research stands out. We are given a primer about many things that are usually taken for granted. Take for instance Theeran taking over as DSP at a police station. This is usually shown with the officer simply walking into the station and taking charge. But here a series of quick shots that show him perform some mundane duties to understand how things work at the station before taking over the DSP post.

The violent dacoit gang present a formidable group of adversaries for Theeran. They gives the film the intensity that a corrupt politician or a powerful rowdy can never give. Theeran’s single-minded pursuit of the group, which is jump started by a single fingerprint, spans multiple states and involves the police from those states, is gripping and suspenseful. It reveals the way the cops grab at straws hoping for a clue, the painstaking work that is sometimes needed to get a single but key breakthrough in a case and showcases the sacrifices that they have to make to get that breakthrough. The way they follow the clues to gradually get more information about the gang is clearly charted and thrills are many as they close in on them.

In keeping with tone of the film, the action sequences are raw and earthy also. The one inside and then atop a bus is a standout, being the rare action sequence where the end is not obvious and the intensity is maintained throughout. The climax is similarly staged well with Theeran’s tactical thinking and sharpshooting skills showcased well in a situation where he and his team are outnumbered in an unfamiliar setting.

2 responses so far

2 Responses to “Theeran Adhigaram Ondru”

  1. Prakash Rao says:

    This movie had been getting great reviews, along the lines of your review. Awesome. I love movies that are a good mix of masala with seriousness. Hopefully it’s out in TK soon.

  2. Reza says:

    A good movie but thought like many good movies fell short due to lack of energy in screenplay in writing in 2nd half.

    Most directors like Murugadoss, KV anand, selvaragavan, gautham menon etc. Shows excellent energy in screenplay n writing in 1st half but lacks the same in 2nd half.

    Directors like shankar mani ratnam rada mohan vetrimaran has the ability to hold the viewers interest in 2nd half as good as 1st half.