Two vital characters in Thadaiyara Thaakka, in spite of being brothers from different fathers, mean a lot to each other. A bad turn of events early in life injects them into a life of crime. The elder brother assumes the role of the kingpin of a gang that runs things in the area. Under his wing is a loan shark with the reputation of being a hard ass. So when a certain pharmacy owner thinks he can dodge repayment forever, he is abducted and his wife is left to wander the streets.
The hero, Arun Vijay, helps the woman pay back the loan and retrieve her kidnapped husband. While you witness this series of events, you're expecting the worst to happen. But it doesn't. Director Magizh Thirumeni builds suspense and tension in the air. He knows how to make his characters intimidating and iconic. But unlike Thiagaraja Kumararaja, he can't blend humour in with the mix. So why not completely refrain from comedy? Why bring in comic moments that threaten the originality of this premise and make this fare more formulaic?
Anyway, circumstances have the kingpin beaten up so bad he arrives unconscious at a hospital. His younger brother is on the lookout for the culprit. He's the kind of ruffian, even with his unfitting boyish looks, who is willing to pay the price of killing unconfirmed suspects if it means avenging his beloved brother. When one of his men finds the weapon in Arun Vijay's car, we have a real problem. Arun Vijay is now on the run and can only count on the kingpin's recovery.
Thadaiayara Thaakka is one of the better Kollywood movies to release this year. It brings back memories of last year's Rowthiram, not just in look and feel but in its perspective on the crime world. Both films show thugs working within an empire, not as a bunch of random villains. While Rowthiram showed them working hand in glove with the cops, Thadaiyara Thaakka seems to be born in a cop-free world. Rowthiram also had better characterization and acting, and felt more real. But Thadaiayara Thakka is better in other ways. It's got a more complex plot, you are interested in the fate of the characters and the tone isn't jarred by music numbers. Arun Vijay is worthy of playing a leading man. The conviction in his eyes invests his character with forthrightness, most evident in the way he deals with sticky situations. The striking score retains our attention and gets us through this flawed, but praiseworthy, action flick. However, towards the end things begins to drag and overwhelm us with more details than required.
Critic: Rohit Ramachandran
(3 / 5) : Good