Taanakkaran Tamil Movie

Feature Film | 2022
Taanakkaran gives us a glimpse of the brutal reality of police training and the archaic 'system' that moulds the future cops.
Apr 8, 2022 By Baranidharan Sivasankaran

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Debutant director Tamizh who made an impact through 'Jai Bhim' with his ruthless performance as the wicked cop, has come up with an equally grimful tale through 'Taanaakkaran'. Thamizh, who is an ex-cop himself, narrates the dark tales behind the police training and the archaic and bureaucratic "system" that controls it.

Set in the late 90s, the movie is about the brutality that gets unleashed on young trainees who train to be future policemen. The movie has also blended the sorry tale of a fateful batch of trainees who were initially recruited in 1982 and were unable to make it to the training because of political reasons. Finally, they were given an opportunity in 1997 along with much younger recruits.

Director Tamizh has chosen a very novel premise and milieu. We've seen cop movies in the past. We've also seen the good cop getting bashed by his own system time and again. Here, we are given a glimpse of the origin of a 'tough' cop. What moulds a cop into a tough and heartless 'machine', a part of the larger 'system', just to accept and obey the orders from a superior.

The police training academy is shown as the breeding ground for police brutality, caste based politics and corruption. The training officers with their chest-thumping ego and an archaic mindset, revel in the system as a way of life. The origin of such a mindset is thanks to the British who ruled us for centuries. Unfortunately, our 'system' clings on to the rules and regulations defined largely by them till today. This piece of history has been briefly captured during the movie's opening sequence.

The highlight among the characters would be 'Easwaramoorthy' played by the dynamic Lal. His body language was the key. What he lacked with mouth sync, he made up with his performance and the variety of grim expressions. Next in line would be MS Bhaskar. Though his character was written on usual lines, he was able to bring forth the emotions whenever needed. Bose Venkat as 'Inspector Mathi' was another role that provided some hope every now and then.

For Vikram Prabhu this role fitted well. It did not warrant a very powerful performance. All he had to do was to carry on his shoulder the role of an upright do-gooder with a tough outlook. He has done just that. Easwari (played by the cute Anjali), is one of the underwhelming characters. She was just to fill in the shoes of a 'heroine'.

While the narrative did its part to expose the brutal realities of the 'system', it was also marred with the usual masala and melodramatic moments. We get to see the weaker ones die. A standoff between the underdog and the bully. Eventually, the underdog wins. However, a consolation was that the director sticks with his conviction by defining the realities of the 'system' till the end. Though, we end up with a feeling that we are thrown into a hopeless loop of crime and brutality, we are made to believe that there is some light at the end of the tunnel.

Taanakkaran is a direct-to-OTT feature film that streams on Disney Hotstar.

Baranidharan Sivasankaran