When I met Director H Vinoth before Theeran Adhigaram Ondru’s release, he told me that the film would be a new experience if we forgive a few clichés. That is exactly how the movie turned out to be. A high-paced action flick, Theeran Adhigaram Ondru walks the talk in all aspects well aided by Ghibran’s music.
The breakneck pace that the film maintains (for the most part) helps us battle the film’s major grouse, it’s running time. Deep into the second half, we can empathise with Karthi’s frustration; we are as annoyed as he is about not being able to nab the gang. But, the well-orchestrated action sequences keep you hooked. We barely see any walking on-screen; even the jeeps and buses ply in fast-forward. There is so much happening that you don’t feel the need to look away or have the space to do so.
My conversation with Vinoth kept resurfacing as I watched Theeran Adhigaram Ondru; I was happy that he delivered what he promised. A story about an honest cop, there is a constant reminder about the imperfect mechanism they have to function within. However, there is minimal preaching. Rather, the disappointment is mired in sarcasm. The elements of a regular police story do make an appearance: the cop who always has an easy way out, lack of funds, the references to bribery etc. However, there is no disillusionment in Theeran’s case. He knows what he is up against. Why complain? Karthi delivers a neat performance as Theeran, pulling off the action sequences with elan.
The cut to the flashback, or the actual story, is probably the weakest link in Theeran Adhigaram Ondru. A phone call from a younger officer about the most difficult case he had ever handled sets Theeran’s mind in motion, recalling the past. Instead of a cut there, if we could have seen Theeran walking down the memory lane after the phone call, the end would have felt more cohesive. And, going by the low standards set for heroines in commercial films, I was happy Rakul Preet Singh had a role to play, even if it is minor. Yet another take on the ‘loose ponnu’ who Tamil cinema knows very well, their romance doesn’t hinder the story much. But the tangible collective sigh that rose from the audience when the narrative cuts back to romance, gives me hope that this trend would change. Maybe soon, directors would not have to include a love story just for the sake of it.
This was first originally published on https://indianexpress.com/. You can find it here.
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