Pathu Thala movie review: Simbu's predictable but engaging gangster film works only because of him
Pathu Thala movie review: Silambarasan TR, popularly known as Simbu, entertains his audiences with a power-packed performance in the Tamil film.
Obeli N Krishna’s Pathu Thala is the Tamil remake of Kannada blockbuster Mufti, which itself was loosely based on Al Pacino’s Donnie Brasco. After delivering two back-to-back successful films in the last couple of years, it’s quite gutsy of Silambarasan TR (Simbu) to pick a project, where he isn’t playing the quintessential hero and is mostly absent in the first of the film. Nevertheless, Pathu Thala still works to a large extent because of Silambarasan, who leaves maximum impact in the limited screen time he gets. Also read: Silambarasan requests critics to not body shame actors in reviews
The story is very straightforward and has been done-to-death in so many Indian films over the years. Gautham Karthik plays Sakthivel, an undercover cop who is tasked with the mission of infiltrating the gang of AGR (Silambarasan TR), who is the most feared gangster and even the local government fears him. AGR has largely remained an enigmatic figure and very few people have seen him. When the Tamil Nadu chief minister goes missing, the government as well as the police believe AGR has a hand in his disappearance.
What really sets Pathu Thala apart from any gangster film and even Donnie Brasco for that matter is that it’s a political drama at heart. It’s about people vying for power and AGR, though a gangster, isn’t the only one who has blood on his hands. The crime angle of the film largely unfolds in the second half after Gautham Karthik’s character infiltrates AGR’s gang and it’s this half of the movie that really keeps one engrossed in the story. The film, which explores modern-day politics quite accurately, definitely needed more drama to make the story even more interesting. Thankfully, when the spotlight shifts on Silambarasan, he brings ample drama to make up for the lull in the initial half.
Silambarasan, despite having a very limited screen time, really shines in a role that he strongly elevates just with his presence. The finale action sequence is one of the major highlights of the film and thanks to the way it’s shot and presented, it leaves the viewer exiting the cinema hall on a high. Gautham Karthik, too, gets to shine in a role that he hasn’t played before. He gets a massy introduction sequence which is another highlight of the film. It’s the women, who are let down in poorly written characters. Priya Bhavani Shankar could have definitely been used more effectively. AR Rahman’s music and score genuinely helps the film work wholesomely.
Film: Pathu Thala
Director: Obeli N Krishna
Cast: Silambarasan TR, Gautham Karthik, Gautham Vasudev Menon and Priya Bhavani Shankar