thaana serndha koottamdirector: vignesh shivncast: suriya, keerthy suresh, ramya krishnan, kalaiarasan, nandha, senthil, sathyan, sivasankar , rj balaji, thambi ramaiahstar rating: 3/5 it would be unfair to call thaana serndha koottam the remake of akshay kumar-starrer special 26. this is special 26 the way only cinema Tamil could have done it – with romance, drama and backstory all in one heist movie.
suriya as nachinarkuiniyan, also known as iniyan, exceeds the expectations of what one expects from the star on the screen. he is seen making fun of himself and turning into an advantage what others consider his weakness, his height.
and you’re ready to make room for the script. Because this is what director Vignesh Shivn has done in the beginning of the film: a space usually reserved for eloquent about the hero and giving him a grand entrance. Three people are trapped in a web of corruption and mediocrity: job seeker rj balaji, police wannabe kalaiarasan, and thambi ramaiah, who is trying to get his son (iniyan) to work at the central bureau of investigation. this dialogue sums up their situation, “people who are capable are nowhere to be found, but people who don’t have any capabilities are in high places.”
It’s not that the demands of suriya fans are not met. shivn manages to beautifully balance the expectations of the fans and the demands of the script. the song, sodakku, feels like an ode to this hero worship. The climax is also about pleasing the fans: the extra drama and action befitting Suriya’s star status. the monologue about how corruption in the labor sector affects citizens is also powerful. however, the underlying humor is director vignesh shivn’s signature style. throughout the film, it’s the understated sarcasm that wins over the audience.
for example, as iniyan and the team prepare to interview a group of people, we hear the names paneer selvam, vijaykanth, prabhakaran, and sasikala, all of whom talk about fighting corruption in society. the irony is not lost on us. comments by rj balaji as pallavaram paranjothi pandian about replacing local drinks with foreign drinks and raising taxes on movie tickets are topical.
ramya krishnan as azhagu meena, sethil as kp, sivasankar as ondiveeran, nandu as vetrivel, and sathyan form the core group working the heists. we have two men that the movie revolves around: a bad man and a good man who does bad things. the villain is played by suresh menon. he is a corrupt official named uthaman, and then there is iniyan who, as a victim of corruption, decided to fight back.
then we have karthik as cbi investigator kurunjivendhan, who is a ruthless officer and believes that harsher punishment nullifies the chances of a repeat crime.
Set in 1987, the film is based on the true events of the Bombay Opera House heist. The film manages to capture the era perfectly: the rotary phones, the radio, the ambassadors’ cars, and of course, kamal haasan’s nayagan movie posters in the background.
The film also manages to capture the spirit of the times through the use of ‘pazhamozhi’ (idioms) that are no longer used but invoke the bygone era when saying: “oyara oyara parandhalum kuruvi kuruvi than parandhu parandhu dhan (by High as a sparrow soars, it can never become a falcon).” the flavor of this is so local you can really taste it.
This brings us to the fact that the film is a remake or, as the filmmakers insist, based on a Hindi film. making a new version tempts the audience to make comparisons, especially if one has seen the original. The refreshing character sketches and script by Vignesh Shivn who has adapted the story for his audience have left no room for comparison. he has made the concept his own and done it justice. for example, casting ramya krishnan for a role that anupam kher had originally done was creative.
The flashback is Vignesh’s addition, and it would be fair to say that this part is the heart of the story. explains what follows beautifully.
enge endru povathu is the song that marks the turning point in the film. Anirudh has once again managed to deliver a successful album for Vignesh Shivn. this song especially is beautifully shot and as it progresses you think you know where the movie is headed. the surprise that the director has thrown here breaks the cliché. By adding this excerpt, Vignesh has given the film an emotional tone, which is sure to please not only suriya fans but the general public.
dinesh’s cinematography is vibrant and fits the time period, especially the way sodakku is shot.
it would have been wonderful to see more of keerthi suresh, who plays the role of madhu. His character starts off well, but as the story unfolds, it seems she’s been left behind: a loose end.
author tweets @priyanka_s_mccfollow @htshowbiz for more information