Nenjil Thunivirundhal Tamil Movie
Director Suseenthiran seems to have an itch for crimes. Social crimes of various magnitudes and varieties have been explored by him in all his movies including his debut (Vennila Kabadi Kuzhu). He has somehow mastered the knack of etching out believable characters (barring his heroines) which has been the hallmark of his success so far. That may also be due to the performance or the milieu or the narrative that he chooses for his movies. Apart from a few, most of his movies have been decently fairing at the box office. Let's find out if his latest "Nenjil Thunivirunthal" (let's call it NT) starring Sundeep Kishan has hit the right notes.
It is an urban thriller set in one of the local neighbourhoods of Chennai. The movie opens up with a tragedy, wherein a family loses its breadwinner who is a cop due to medical negligence. This thread is left unattended until the climax. Later, we are taken closer to the same family that has a brother (Sundeep Kishan), who works as a caterer, a sister who is a doctor in pursuit of her post-graduate degree and then the widowed mother. There is another plot that involves a crooked and deadly henchman (Harish Uthaman) and his gang who extort money from the ones who approach them to settle scores. And, then there is a love angle between Sundeep's sister and his friend (Vikranth).
Life turns on its head for Sundeep when his family is targeted by the henchman for a notorious reason (social angle of the plot is in here - no spoiler). Sundeep, along with his friends and his deceased father's influence (as a cop) fight it out successfully.
Suseenthiran is one director in the recent past who seems to have extracted the maximum out of the family based thriller plots by employing similar narratives - 'Pandiya Nadu', 'Kathakali', 'Naan Mahaan Alla', 'Paayum Puli'. Automatically, the audiences are left to connect the dots at least on the surface level as to something bad would happen at some point and the hero would emerge victoriously.
His heroines have become gradually dumber by the movie. His latest heroine, debutant Mehreen Pirzada literally walks in for a couple of lame scenes and a song. The mother's role played by Thulasi is literally a rip off from Suseenthiran's 'Aadhalaal Kadhal Seiveer'. In fact, she delivers a very similar dialogue to Sundeep which was delivered to Jayaprakash in "Aadhalaal..." - "Naan sethuttennu sonna varuviya" - would you be here if I say that I'm dead! The difference here was that the there was not much of an emotional connect, whereas in the previous movie the circumstances were substantially heavy. This seems to be the problem with this movie - lack of proper justifiable content.
Another weakness in most of Suseenthiran's movies is the lack of crispness in the narrative due to unwanted songs. Take for instance the director's previous movies - "Jeeva" and "Maaveeran Kittu" - they were not allowed to scale the heights they deserved due to a lacklustre narrative thanks to the cliched numbers.
It's disheartening to witness a director with a lot of potential still clamping against songs and over the top action to sell his content that deserves an existential narrative, more in line with "Aadhalaal...".
BGM and music haunted the patience of the audience and tested the eardrums during action sequences. For instance, the hero hugging and restraining his opponents was showcased as the major tipping point of action. For Sundeep who has come out from a very raw "Managaram" and that too as a stylish hothead, this certainly doesn't do any justice.
The twist at the end was tied to the film's beginning in a haphazard fashion, more as an afterthought. Suseenthiran should stay away from such crime-based movies and focus on more rooted ones like "Azhagar Samiyin Kuthirai" and "Aadhalaal..." at least for some time to have a breather.
My only fear is that this director who shows his brilliance on screen time and again, shouldn't be reduced to a generic filmmaker who embraces songs and dance as the mainstream narrative element.
He should evolve himself by taking a leap of faith into the next league with something different, in terms of the narrative or the theme by itself. As of now, I would let this rough pace pass through for Suseenthiran and waiting with fingers crossed for his next!