Karthi looks and performs better with every film. Siruthai (U/A) exemplifies the observation. This is director Shiva's third film, the first in Tamil, and his racy narrative (notwithstanding the fact that the post-interval duet makes you restless) is another positive feature.

Sensibly Shiva has done away with some elements in the Telugu original, Vikramarkudu (with Ravi Teja as hero), which could be exasperating — the policewoman's midnight (literally!) ‘masala' number, to name one. In Tamil, Megha Nair, who plays the part of a conscientious cop, embodies dignity.

Plausibility and logic have no place in Siruthai's scheme of things. The formula of a commercial potboiler where the villain and his men are despicably bad and the hero is indisputably good is followed to a T. And as always, when the maker decides to defy the norm and create a hero who indulges in peccadilloes, he also finds a way out. He creates a look-alike, who is bold and upright, and weaves in a line that still sticks to the routine. Thus Karthi plays both petty thief Raja and DCP Ratnavel Pandian — while one thieves the other is willing to die for the prestige of his uniform. Come on, you ought to know what follows …

The beaten track, all right, but Karthi lends it the essential verve. Tamannaah is busy with her waistline display. Little else matters. But grant it to her, the damsel is bewitching, even when in distress. If Boss Engira Bhaskaran is a benchmark for the Santhanam brand of humour, the comedian almost reaches it again in Siruthai. Hence it's LOL all the way! In fact, as Poochi, he replicates Brahmanandam (who plays the part in the Telugu original) with élan. Avinash joins the league of predictable villains, and meets a pathetic end. Incidentally, why does his son feign lunacy once he is out of prison? Despite lack of rationale, the Telugu version has been aped here.

Ratnavel Pandian is in the ICU, when the inspector decides to tell Raja about the sequence of events that led to the chaos — and his decibel level is abominably loud! I mean, it's Silence Zone, right?

Art director Rajeevan shows that even set properties can accentuate humour, viz., the home of the two thieves Raja and Poochi. From road dividers to mannequins in shops, all kinds of ‘stolen' stuff (more than what you saw in the original) find their way into their shack! Ganesh Kumar's stunt choreography, particularly in the climax, makes Siruthai's action sequences thrilling. Cinematography (Velraj) is equally commendable in these scenes.

Thus if it was Singam for Suriya, it is Siruthai for the sibling — if one roared, so does the other, twice as much.

Generally, well-told cop stories don't bite the dust. Nor do dual role bonanzas. Going by the norm, this Siruthai should charge ahead!

Siruthai

Genre: Action

Director: Shiva

Cast: Karthi, Tamannaah, Santhanam

Storyline: About a straightforward cop, a look-alike who's a thief, and of course, a villain who meets his nemesis

Bottomline: Thumbs up … for the casting!

Keywords: SiruthaiKarthiTamannaah