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Updated: September 25, 2012 14:44 IST

Brain and brawn

Malathi Rangarajan
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Thadaiyara Thaaka
Thadaiyara Thaaka

When action comes with acumen the result is bound to be engaging, like it is with Thadaiyara Thaaka (A). Granted, TT has much violence, but it isn't a mindless bloodbath brought in just for the sake of it, though a lesser dose of gore would have made it more palatable. Tweaking up the narration when it shows signs of sagging, and weaving in the right amount of levity in the initial stages, director Magizh Thirumeni makes you sit up in appreciation. The suspense element in TT works well.

Mun Dhinam Paarthaenae, his debut, wasn't noteworthy, but this time Thirumeni works out an interesting game of cat and mouse, where the hero's wit and well-toned physique help him scale obstacles that seem insurmountable. Hence the title, which is both relevant and different!

Arun Vijay's dedication is incredible. The story or the director could let this hero down, but his job can never be faulted. However, Magizh Thirumeni has given him a strong story and a fairly racy screenplay that enables him to showcase his multifarious talents. Looking fit, dancing well and emoting commendably, Arun reiterates that he deserves to go higher in his career. Also an ace in action, he proves it yet again, as he pulverises the baddies in TT. The well-etched character of Selva, the owner of a travel agency, offers him scope and the energetic actor has utilised it well. Everything in Selva's life seems hunky-dory till a blood-stained cricket bat is found in his car. There begins the run for his life.

After playing insipid characters in films that ended up as non-starters, Mamta Mohandas's Priya, the character she plays in TT, exemplifies her mettle. The ravishing beauty can set aside Sivappadhikaaram and Guru En Aalu as forgettable dreams. TT places her in a winning position. And Murugadas who made a memorable entry in Aadukalam is back with another attention-drawing performance.

The character of Gayathri played by Rakul is kept hidden for too long. The miserable life of the rich, young girl caught by the villains is a disconcerting sub-plot. But she enters the scene at a time when too many significant things are happening, and so a little of the momentum is lost, though Thirumeni skilfully connects her story to the main line.

At times, TT goes overboard in its maiming game. In the finale that lone finger on the floor is intended to make your heart beat faster, but it only ends up making you feel repulsed. And the finger doesn't even look realistic!

The snag is that too many things are crammed in, in the last 40 minutes or so. To enjoy watching the hero running towards the enemies and mowing down so many of them single-handed, you ought to adopt the willing suspension of disbelief technique.

Cutting down on duets and stopping with a jig for the front-benchers help keep the pace on even keel. Slick editing is another plus. And more than the songs, it is Thaman's RR in the action segments that deserves praise. Sukumar's lighting, and tones that effectively include the sepia, create a graphic picture of the milieu and the men the hero has to contend with. And as the entire action in the second half takes place in the course of one night, the impact is more. But couldn't the slight shakiness in camera movement in a couple of initial scenes have been avoided?

This director-hero duo has worked really hard. Their diligence and Thirumeni's intelligent approach to the narration have to be recognised.

A commercial venture that doesn't completely lose sight of logic!

Thadaiyara Thaaka

Genre: Action

Director: Magizh Thirumeni

Cast: Arun Vijay, Mamta Mohandas

Storyline: The hero is hunted by thugs for a crime he says he didn't commit. Their needle of suspicion points towards him. So does yours.

Bottomline: Well-crafted

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