Thunivu – Ajith carries this message driven actioner with aplomb
The Ajith-H.Vinoth-Boney Kapoor combo that gave two different films ‘Nerkonda Paarvai’ and ‘Valimai’ have come up with their hattrick venture ‘Thunivu’ with the tag line “No Guts No Glory”. The film attempts to expose banking and financial institutions scamming the common man. Whether the deceptive action based narration appeals to all sections of the audiences remains to be seen.
A gang storms into the fictitious ‘Your Bank’ situated at the heart of Chennai and takes the bank employees and customers hostage at gunpoint. The nameless character played by Ajith, appears as a customer, shoots the robbers and brings the entire bank under his control. He deliberately alerts the police and starts playing a cat and mouse game with them with the seeming intention of robbing twenty five thousand crore rupees. It is then confirmed that he is an international gangster named Dark Devil who is supposed to be dead. Is the Dark Devil really dead and if so who has taken over the bank? Can he get that huge amount beyond imagination and really make an escape from the police and central commandos? The screenplay gives the answers laden with a few messages.
Ajith back in the role of an out and out badass character several years after ‘Mankatha’ gives his fans much to cheer with his uber smart looks and swag in every frame. The entire film is virtually a ‘one man show’ of Ajith and he particularly dazzles in the scenes where he mixes hilarity with villainy. Watch out for his Michael Jackson impression that fires up the entire theater. Manju Warrier appears as Kanmani, the loyal gang member of Dark Devil who operates from the outside. She holds her own in the action scenes and also in a few emotional scenes with Ajith. Samuthirakani as the honest City Police Commissioner has as usual delivered a neat performance. G.M. Sundar as the bank manager, Bhagavathy Perumal as the nefarious cop and Mahanadhi Shankar as the constable chosen by the Devil to negotiate are aptly cast. John Kokken is okayish as the main villain while Darshan of ‘Kanaa’ fame has played the catalyst role. The actor who scores the most among the supporting cast is undoubtedly Mohanasundaram who as Maiba the lecherous and street smart television journalist. His self-deprecating lines about the media and its functioning are of the laugh out loud variety.
What works best in ‘Thunivu’ are the scenes that show banks duping unsuspecting customers and trapping them with EMI schemes, mutual funds, share markets etc. The film sheds light on how various financial institutions are interconnected and how the clever owners siphon off thousands of crores through fake accounts after claiming losses to the public. The scene in which Ajith forces the bank owner to sign an agreement with terms written in unreadably small fonts much like the ones banks use on customers receives thunderous applause. The dialogues are hard hitting at a few places such as “Why is man selfish? He can live as a man only when he is selfish.”
On the flip side the excessive gun shooting after a point turns repulsive. The lack of logic is jarring in several portions, especially the lead pair taking bullet after bullet and surviving not in one but multiple action sequences. The screenplay is stretched beyond its potential that makes even the well choreographed boat chase redundant. The couple of flashbacks are neither affecting nor have any bearing on the screenplay. The film seems much longer than it really is.
Ghibran’s songs, though misplaced in the movie, give energy to fans to enjoy the AK swag. His background as usual enhances the scenes. Supreme Sundar has choreographed a variety of action sequences that showcase Ajith’s larger than life heroism. Nirav Shah’s cinematography and Vijay Velukkutty’s editing have aided the vision of the writer-director. Boney Kapoor and Zee Studios has provided rich production values with the bank sets, the helicopter and boat chases and blast effects are of international standards. Director H. Vinoth has chosen a social issue that everyone can relate to and has sugar coated it with a kickass central character and action. However fans expectations from him are more on the lines of his first three films while he has opted to make ‘Thunivu’ in the ‘Valimai’ mode.
Verdict : Go for ‘Thunivu’ to enjoy Ajith’s one man show and the messages that it carries