Critic - No.136

Director: H.Vinoth
Casts: Karthi, Rakul Preet Singh, Abhimanyu Singh
Music: Ghibran
Language: Tamil
Genre: Action / Crime / Thriller 

A hardnosed cop, Theeran (Karthi) reopens an unsolved case and goes after a gang of ruthless dacoits who have been terrorising residents along the highway for a decade.

Partially based on the Operation Bawaria that happened at the timeline of 1996-2006, the film maker has ensured that the main theme of patriotism and the sacrifices of a policemen is depicted strongly without any preachy tone. The fear of the dacoits is injected into the audience at the very first scene of a brutal violent robbery that sets the urgency of the film’s catalyst. 

With a strict eradication of any unconvincing filmic cop stereotypes or cinematic hyper intelligence, film maker Vinoth projects a detailed projection of police physical training, investigation and the psychologically traumas involved in high risk cases. The main interesting factor of the film is the numerous failures and obstacles the protagonist faces before finally napping the deadly criminal, Oma. Through the failures, deaths and challenges, we get to understand Theeran’s real character deeply. 

Karthi’s controlled performance increases the likability of DSP Theeran. After seeing Karthi’s row masala flicks, with Theeran, Karthi reassures his stance as an intense, serious actor. It’s extremely refreshing to see a mainstream film in Tamil possessing so much details in the film without underestimating the intellectual grasp of certain sections of audience.

The film also tackles a few political corruptions derived from reality and boldly comments or even mocks through the protagonist. Vinoth who has already done an impressive con-man, political satire film, ‘Sathuranga Vettai (2015)’, repeats his desire again here to poke holes on the flawed system. ‘Theeran’ which was filmed extensively in Chennai and Rajasthan, was elegantly filmed by Sathyan Sooran. The earthy tones gave the film a texture of warmth and the tonal likeness with Indian Police thematic colour. Ghibran’s songs are decent functional except the ‘Tinga Tinga’ that stands out from the film’s genuine tone. BGM is where the young composer scores with thrill and intensity. In addition, kudos the art directors who have brought the later 90s and early 2000s in front of our eyes with a great accuracy.

On the flip side, Vinoth seem to be a little confused on whether to make a straight-out police flick or a product that is safe and commercial enough to reach the masses. The climax item number, exaggerated police investigation montages, unwarranted romantic tracks are a few factors that doesn’t gel with a sincere subject that ‘Theeran’ had. 

The romantic track is unimaginative, draggy and illogical which makes the intended emotional pay off at the end, fall flat. The choice to cast Rakul Preet Singh might have been a commercially viable decision but doesn’t really stand in line in terms of performance even with the supporting actors or the terrifying show by antagonist, Abimanyu Singh.

With a puzzle like narration, ‘Theeran’ is a realistic, edgy police flick that is unpretentious and genuine.



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