Thalaivaa Movie Review
Actor Vijay known for his commercial entertainers was having a career sans any controversies till recently. “Thalaivaa” (Leader) has got itself into trouble that no one would have expected. The trouble came in the form of a lesser known student outfit threatening the theatres not to screen the film. The recent update is that it has got a green signal from the ruling state government that it shall see the light of the day in the state on the 20th of August a good 11 days after it was released in other states and overseas.
The film’s collection would undoubtedly be impacted due to the influx of pirated copies of the film already available in the internet freely. However, the kind of fan following Vijay enjoys they could prove it wrong and make this film a super-hit for the only reason that their star had been put into so much hardship and not to forget the makers have been advised to remove the tagline “Time to lead” from the film and its publicity materials by the state government indicating that there is more than that meets the eye.
“Thalaivaa” has a storyline that is nothing new for the regular Tamil movie viewers. It’s about how a common man due to circumstances raises from his level to lead a society to its betterment. The film begins in the year 1988 in Mumbai where Dharavi’s slum head Varadharaja Mudhaliar is murdered and then the fight for supremacy gains momentum between the rival gangs. In true filmy style Anna (Sathyaraj) is introduced where he ends up taking up the mantle of leading the people of Dharavi. He sends his son Viswa with Ratnam (Nasser) to Australia to grow-up.
Years pass by and Viswa (Vijay) now in-charge of a dance troop along with Logu (Santhanam) Ratnam’s son. He falls in love with Meera (Amala Paul) in a true filmy fashion. Meera’s dad Suresh in approval of his daughter’s love wants to finalise things and travels back to India to set things rolling.
The moment they land in Mumbai, things take a different route and much to Viswa’s dismay he gets to witness things that he never dreamt to see unfold before his eyes. From here on how and what does he do to take the mantle of a leader is all about in this film which has a running time of 180 minutes.
The film has its moments of glory and so is its downfall. Moments of glory are the scenes in Australia and the scenes prior to the intermission where the twist in the plot is revealed. In terms of downfall, are the screenplay and the orchestration of the scenes in Dharavi area which are reminiscent of scenes from the 1987 Maniratnam’s hit film “Nayagan” which had Kamal Hassan in the lead. Also there are shades of “Thevar Magan” which could have been avoided.
In terms of screenplay, the film at 180 minutes seems to be a tad lengthy but the actor in Vijay makes sure that it doesn’t prove to be a major deterrent. Amala Paul does a decent job but there is no major scope for her in a hero centric film like this. Other actors like Nasser, Ponvannan, Ragini Nandwani play their role to satisfaction.
Abhimanyu Singh as the villain somehow lacks the sting that a character of such magnitude should possess. Director Vijay who had earlier made films like “Thandavam”, “Deiva Thirumagal” which were duds at the box-office seems to have made up with this film and its run in the box-office can only be attributed to the controversy created in Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry.
Overall, the film falls below expectations as it is no way gripping as actor Vijay’s earlier hits like “Gilli” or “Thuppaki” to name a few. G V Prakash Kumar’s music seems ordinary expect for a couple of songs that are chartbusters. Nirav Shah’s cinematography is treat to the eyes while Antony’s editing could have been more crisper.
“Thalaivaa” could have been much better but nonetheless it passes the litmus test.