Kodiyil Oruvan movie review: Vijay Antony plays to his strengths in predictable political thriller

ByHaricharan Pudipeddi
Sep 17, 2021 10:24 AM IST

Kodiyil Oruvan movie review: Director Ananda Krishnan's first big-budget film is a predictable but entertaining political thriller.

Kodiyil Oruvan
Director - Ananda Krishnan
Cast - Vijay Antony, Aathmika, Ramachandra Raju, Prabhakar, Shankar Krishnamoorthy

Kodiyil Oruvan movie review: Vijay Antony plays to his strengths.
Kodiyil Oruvan movie review: Vijay Antony plays to his strengths.

Director Ananda Krishnan made heads turn with his last film, the impressive Metro, a slick thriller about chain-snatching gangs in Chennai. Despite being made on a low budget, he managed to make Metro stand out with its raw action, especially scenes involving chain snatching. He displays the same promise in his first big budget film, Kodiyil Oruvan, which features Vijay Antony in a role that’s a refreshing departure from his usual avatars. Billed as a political thriller, Kodiyil Oruvan is simply about a man fulfilling his mother’s wish for him to become an IAS officer. But the film is much bigger in terms of scale, and it has an engaging political subplot.

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The opening 15-20 minutes of the film are hard-hitting and overly sentimental. Kodiyil Oruvan begins in a place called Kombai, where a young woman is asked by a big-shot to contest in the local body elections. The woman, who manages to win the elections, turns out to be an idealist and comes in the way of the man who requested her to contest in the first place. Unhappy with the woman methods, he decides to kill her, but she escapes and also gives birth to a child. The woman raises her kid with the goal of making him an IAS officer but life takes a detour when he grows up and moves to Chennai.

Watch the Kodiyil Oruvan trailer here:

As predictable as it could have been, the film works to a large extent because of how well it adheres to the formula of commercial filmmaking. It also milks the sentimental mother-son subplot which has worked in Vijay Antony’s films on a few occasions in the past. As an actor who’s well aware of his limitations when it comes to performance, Vijay Antony owns the role of Vijaya Raghavan and plays to his strengths. If you’ve followed his work, you know that he’s someone who can’t really make a difference with his acting but usually chooses scripts that overshadow his limitations.

Also read: Tamil actor Vijay Antony takes a pay cut. Will Bollywood actors follow suit?

The film is salvaged by good action choreography and some clever twists. Shot in a real housing society, the location plays a key role in setting the mood. The film draws inspiration from Shankar’s Mudhalvan and Nishikanth Kamat’s Evano Oruvan, which starred R Madhavan in the lead. All these films are about idealist heroes who develop a deep sense of belonging to the society they’re a part of. At some point, all these heroes have to deal with their breaking points and the repercussions which follow. For Vijaya Raghavan, who thinks it’s his responsibility to help the people of his locality, he learns that politics is his trump card. The film ends with the hint of a sequel.

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