Tamil cinema directors have always stayed away from real-life stories fearing a backlash. They used specific incidents as scenes but shied away from making full-length movies on real-life stories except for a handful of directors like RK Selvamani (Pulan Visaranai, Kutrapathrikkai) and AMR Ramesh (Kuppi, Vanayudhham). While Bala and Bharathiraja are fighting to make a movie on Kuttra Parambarai (from Tamil Nadu), young director Vinoth has created a gritty thriller in Theeran – Adhigaram Ondru without any fanfare.
What made Theeran Adhigaram Ondru impressive was the extensive research that Vinoth and his team has put in. The movie is about a notorious gang (famously known as the lorry gang) from Uttar Pradesh who conducted brutal dacoity across states on highways. They were part of Baawariya sect who became dacoits due to discrimination during the colonial and post-colonial period.
If you have followed the case (I remember reading about it) or if you are reading the articles that have cropped up in the past few days about Jangit (Superintendent of Police, who headed the investigation) and team, you would know the level of detailing in the movie. Vinoth has perfectly blended the reality and fiction into a pulsating thriller that keeps you on the edge.
Karthi as Theeran has played his role in the T. Unlike many other cop movies, Dheeran’s character is realistic and vulnerable. The restrained portrayal of Karthi makes the film believable, and he has stayed away from his usual histrionics even during the romance sequences. The most important aspect is that he makes you invest in his quest like he has.
The romance between Rakul Preeth Singh and Karthi could have been inserted to play as an antidote to the intensity of the story, but it acts as a speed breaker because there is nothing new in the sequences. In fact, Vinoth could have used the time to explore the lives of other cops in the movie or the motivations behind the Baawariya group in detail. We get to see only the life of Sathya (played by Bose Venkat), but other police officers are nameless. We don’t invest emotionally with other officers as we do with Theeran.
There have been multiple reviews and posts that praise Ghibran’s music, but I felt that the music lacked substance. It follows the same pattern of Tamil movie thriller music that relies on the excessive use of percussion instruments. The loudness of the uninventive score does hamper the movie experience. Let’s not talk about the songs as they are immaterial to the movie. There is a full-length item number in Rajasthani folk setup that doesn’t make any whatsoever except for Scarlett Mellish Wilson’s gyrations. Sathyan’s camera work is exceptional, especially during the action sequences. Dhilip Subbarayan has finally emulated his father with some scintillating action blocks – the bus chase is one of the best in recent past.
In spite of a regular romance portions and music, Theeran works well because of the impeccable screenplay, restrained acting and well-researched content. It’s not easy to make a movie from real-life incidents without making compromises. But Vinoth has delivered a movie that can spawn a genre of investigation thrillers.
I judge directors by their second movies, and many of them have failed miserably in that scale. I watched Sadhuranga Vettai because the cinematographer was my school buddy – KG Venkatesh but came back impressed by Vinoth’s detailing. With Theeran, he has proved that he is going to be a force to reckon.
I go with a must-watch for Theeran Adhigaram Ondru but only 3/5 because of the flaws.
PS: Although the movie has been certified U/A, I suggest that you leave your children back at home because the film does have graphic violence.