Jan 25 2018

Thaana Serndha Koottam

Published by at 11:08 pm under Review,Tamil Cinema

tsk

Vignesh Shivn’s follow up to the charming Naanum Rowdy Thaan is based on Special 26 with Akshay Kumar in the lead. As in the original, Iniyan(Suriya) and his gang(Ramya Krishnan takes on the role played by Anupham Kher in the Hindi version with Senthil, Sathyan and Sivasankar as the other members) pose as CBI/income tax officers and raid black money hoarders. They get away with the crimes since the victims never officially complain since the money is black money. In the original, the characters were simply con men out to make some money. But here, probably owing to Suriya being more image conscious compared to Akshay Kumar, he is given a flashback to explain his transformation into a criminal and doesn’t even hold on to the money he robs.

The capers are quite fun and and involve small bursts of comedy – Anandraj’s humble politician act, the language confusion when the gang runs their operation in Hyderabad – that work well to keep the movie light-hearted. Even the aforementioned flashback, which has some tragedy to drive Iniyan’s move to the dark side, has a nice bit that plays on our expectations about such flashbacks for a while. But the comedy thins out as the movie proceeds. Some in-jokes referencing the actors’ previous roles(Senthil gets references to Petromax lights and bananas, Suriya gets a nod to his Singam franchise and Ramya Krishnan gets to talk about Bahubali) are all that stand out.

The romantic track is different from the original with Madhu(Keerthy Suresh) being somewhat of a trickster herself and meeting Iniyan as part of the first caper. But she barely has a role to play after that. The romantic track in Hindi added a time factor to the last heist since the girlfriend was waiting at the airport. Nothing of that sort happens here with the focus in the climax completely on Iniyan.

Special 26 had Manoj Bajpai as a no-nonsense cop focused on nabbing the group. TSK makes things more personal between Iniyan and Uttaman(Suresh Menon), the man who is after him as the latter is a corrupt CBI officer who also has a grudge against Iniyan’s dad(Thambi Ramiah). Uthaman is more of a regular, dislikeable villain here as he also keeps insulting Vetrivel(Nanda), the cop assigned to work with him. This works well but the film introduces another cop Kurunjivendhan(Karthik) who is also after the group but prefers to remain in the background. This doesn’t work as well and doesn’t add much to the story.

Vignesh Shivn seems adept at increasing the comic potential of scenes that existed in the original but falters when he wants to depart from it. So the film gets progressively worse as it deviates from the original. The worst is the way a key twist is handled. It was arguably the best part of the original film but is treated badly here. It is rushed through in a hurry to shift the focus back to Iniyan and move into the climax and aspects of the back story, which enhanced the effectiveness of the twist, are inexplicably dropped. So the twist barely registers. The block that follows is terrible and delivers on neither smarts nor action.

4 responses so far

4 Responses to “Thaana Serndha Koottam”

  1. Ramesh 1 says:

    It was nice to Suriya look happy in a full-length film for a change. 24 had a few scenes when he was portraying the watch-maker, but we may have to go all the way back to his Ayan/Aadhavan days for something like this! Also was charming to see Senthil back….why does no one attempt to cast him and Goundamani together? (Any know if there’s been a fall out?!)

    But yes, I too felt that the feel-good treatment did cover up gaping loopholes left, right and centre. Pongal winner, though.

  2. Jordan says:

    I also agree with Ramesh that its truly been a while since Suriya really had fun on screen. He just charms his way through, and didn’t huff and puff like he usually does in the Singam series. The movie was fun too, but the seriousness doesn’t really work. It didn’t work in NRD either, but unlike that film, this film tries to be more serious about unemployed youngsters and money buying influence. Also Karthik’s somewhat late entrance into the picture didn’t add much. But I felt the jokes made up for the lack of serious plot. Songs were super catchy too, Sodakku was simply rocking.

  3. Balaji says:

    Ramesh, yeah its been a while since we’ve seen him in a full-length light-hearted role like this. I guess that means he’s been trying a variety of roles instead of being stuck in a rut doing the same kind of masala roles. Wish they’d given Senthil more to do though.

    Jordan, have u seen Special 26? It was serious in parts too but didn’t have the serious topics that TSK tried to introduce & so the mix worked better.
    Sodakku was super energetic & fun. The overall soundtrack was fun & suited the movie. I liked Peela & Naana Thaana too.

  4. Jordan says:

    No, I haven’t seen Special 26 Balaji. But yes, I did hear that the mix worked better, because Akshay Kumar and the surroundings weren’t so “mass” unlike here. Vignesh Shivn’s next is with Siva, so for sure, comedy will be at forefront, which sounds good.