CAST: Jayam Ravi, Arvind Swamy, Nayanthara, Ganesh Venkatraman
DIRECTION: Mohan Raja
RATING: Three and a half stars
Thani Oruvan is a thriller that takes up the fight between good and evil and twists it in such a way that it makes ‘evil’ look ‘good’. With the use of technology, an emphasis on slyness and mind over matter, director M. Raja and his team have crafted a film that is sure to keep you at the edge of your seat while entertaining you thoroughly in the process.
The film will put you in a double bind as Jayam Ravi plays the irresistible lead, but is counteracted by an equally sublime Arvind Swamy, who plays a brainy antagonist. The elements of this movie are quite simple: Mithran (Jayam Ravi) is an honest cop who wants to serve his town and keep the people safe. He finds a trail that leads to a medicinal and pharmaceutical fraud - a racket that has its nets cast around the nation. His investigations reveal that Siddharth Abhimanyu (Arvind Swamy) is the brainchild behind this nexus, and what more, he is also backed by powerful interests with a lot of money to blow.
Siddharth is against the democratisation of common medicines by the government, and through slyness and sleight of hand, manages to keep a number of key medicines outside the accessible markets. Thus begins the battle of wits as the duo constantly trade mind games and intellectual blows in an attempt to one-up each other.
A key to Thani Oruvan’s appeal is that it is a statement of style. Aravind Swamy as the villain is menacing and unlike your usual antagonists, even respectable. He has hubris without blindness, and he gets a certain pleasure out of his job, making his ‘villainy’ that much more disconcerting.
Jayam Ravi as the IPS officer brings a nobility and believable aspect to the ensuing clash. He has integrity, intensity and empathy - all of which are necessary to contradict such a mind-boggling villain. And thankfully, Raja has also introduced Nayanthara to this domain, whose romance with Mithran adds texture and reality to a story that would have otherwise been too black and white.
Harish Uthaman, Ganesh Venkatraman, Sricharan Rangarajan and company, as the supporting cast have executed their necessities very well. Thambi Ramaiah as Siddharth’s father brings in the timely release of intensity.
In the technical department, Ramji’s camerawork is nuanced and foreboding, keeping up with the beat of the film. Music by Hip-Hop artist Tamizha Adhi plays along with the script and doesn’t try to overload with the masala.
The scenes are clearly there in the writing, and Raja’s script is the foundation on which the movie rests. The foundations are deep and sturdy, and the director has ensured that he has commanded his troops with meaning and precision. The end result is Thani Oruvan - a thriller that hardly misses a note.