Cast: Gautham Karthik, RJ Balaji, Shraddha Srinath, Super Subbarayan, Stunt Silva
Ivan Thandhiran, directed by Kannan, is a briskly paced action-thriller that utilises relatable experiences of our world to grab the audience and get the story across. Stuff about engineering colleges, corruption, and demonetization are like the most common topics of daily discussion among Indians, and Ivan Thandhiran employs them in a smart manner to achieve the desired outcome.
So, Shakthi (Gautham Karthik) and his buddy Balaji (RJ Balaji) are dropout engineers who now run an electronic store. Once they’re called upon to fix the CCTVs installed in the union minister Devaraj’s (Super Subbarayan) house. The duo, after completing their work, is cheated of their payments. What better way to setup a clash and a direct confrontation than to have the union HRD minister evade his dues to folks who have great knowledge of the corruption that exists in the educational system? The answer of course is none and that question is rhetorical. Either way, revenge is the name of the game and Shakthi with his buddy set out to expose Devaraj with some of the more ingenious techniques they’ve learned from their engineering days.
IT works largely due to the compact nature of the film. Instead of branching out and trying to achieve a bit too much, director Kannan has focused on settling all the unfinished scenes by the end of the film. He’s also addressed the many biases and stereotypes of the ‘engineering college going and politician confronting’ themed script in small but astute ways. The contemporary dialogues are pretty good.
Gautham Karthik plays a pivotal role in achieving this. His character bursts alive with energy and enthusiasm. Whatever the situation that is thrown at him, he adjusts his personality in a believable but necessary manner. RJ Balaji as his sidekick often becomes the highlight with his witty one-liners and topical commentaries.
There’s stuff about Modi, engineers, Ola & Uber, and references to previous classics as well, all of which will leave you reeling. Couple other noteworthy mentions include pretty looking heroine Shraddha Srinath, who plays a congenial character with a heartwarming romance in the second half. And Super Subbarayan is as villainous as ever. Stunt Silva as the scheming brother-in-law of Subbarayan is menacing.
The film's technical front shines as well. Music by Thaman is for the most part in sync. Prasanna Kumar’s cinematography combined with RK Selva’s editing achieves what is demanded of a largely commercial enterprise. By no means is Ivan Thanthiran a classic in the making, but rarely does anyone set out to watch a new film having such standards in mind. Just go to the theatres and enjoy a nice mid-summer hiatus....