Theeran Adhigaaram Ondru movie review: A riveting, competently-made police drama
Film: Theeran Adhigaaram Ondru
Director: H Vinoth
Cast: Karthi, Rakul Preet Singh, Abhimanyu Singh and Bose Venkat
In Theeran Adhigaaram Ondru, quite early on, we witness a gang of dacoits brutally murder a family, leaving behind a gory crime scene. A couple of scenes later they strike again. This time, another family is killed ruthlessly and then robbed. These visuals are sure to leave the viewers shocked, but director Vinoth - who made a terrific directorial debut with Sathuranga Vettai in 2014 -- doesn’t flinch at showing violence like no recent Tamil film, making this Karthi starrer a bonafide no-holds-barred, riveting police procedural.
Theeran… can’t be merely brushed aside as just another addition to the long list of cop films in Tamil cinema. It earns its place and rightly so by giving us a competently-made film which almost shines in every department, particularly in action. It’s easily one of the most extensive action films in Karthi’s career and going by Tamil cinema’s standard, it sets a new benchmark. The action stretches are terrifically shot, especially one that unfolds inside a moving bus and then slowly shifts to on top of the vehicle.
One of the reasons why Theeran is instantly likable and laudable is for its realistic portrayal of cops, making us view their lives in a completely different light. Set in the early 2000’s, we follow a team of cops - lead from the front by Karthi - on a nation-wide trip to hunt down the gang of ruthless, cold-blooded dacoits. Abhimanyu Singh, in easily his best performance since Ram Gopal Varma’s Rakht Charitra, plays the antagonist and he wreaks havoc with his gang in the first half of the film, giving the entire police department sleepless nights. We get a solid back-story for Abhimanyu’s gang and these are not men who rob and kill not for the heck of it.
Extensive research has gone into the making of the film and it’s evident in its screenplay. Vinoth shines as writer and director in making Theeran, while steering away from the usual clichés associated with cop films, stand out and root for characters for a change instead of actors. Karthi is terrific in one of his best roles. He’s fit and owns his part comfortably. There are no needless hero elevation scenes or punch dialogues which is usually the case with most films in this space. Instead, Vinoth makes us root for an upright police officer and we’re made to realize he’s the best in what he does.
Except for the tiresome romantic portion which can be overseen by the end of the film, Theeran is a gripping, explosive action drama that works despite its lengthy running time. The edge-of-the-seat narrative is extremely well supported by Ghibran’s score and he proves yet again why he’s one of the most underrated contemporary composers.
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