Theri (2016)

Theri Poster

There’s been a proverb “Face is the index of mind” which turned out to be a false one with time. Likewise, we can quote “Trailer is the index of film” when comes to films. “Theri” is a film that contradicts this proverb. Directed by “Atlee” who got introduced with “Raja Rani”, this film stars “Ilaya Thalapathy” Vijay, Samantha and Amy Jackson in pivotal roles. Senior writer-director “Mahendran” appeared as an antagonist. This film was produced by “Kalaipuli S. Thanu” and Telugu dubbing rights were acquired by “Dil Raju”.

This film was initially named as “Policeodu” in Telugu but later got changed to “Police” due to various reasons. Some theatres had the same “Policeodu” on screens. So, consider this review of mine is for original Tamil film “Theri”.

Plot :

Joseph Kuruvilla (Vijay) lives with his daughter Niveditha (Baby Nainika) in Kerala hiding his original identity DCP Vijay Kumar. What’s the reason behind this? Who are Mithra (Samantha) and Annie (Amy Jackson) in Joseph’s life? form the plot.

Narration :

The basic plot of this film appears to be a free make of Gautham Menon’s “Yennai Arindhaal”. As this had “Vijay”, director Atlee added a lot of commercial elements that satisfy Vijay’s image. Besides having a star with a lot of mass appeal, Atlee didn’t leave his own posh style of film-making. For this, he should be appreciated.

As I said, trailer is the index of film, this film came up with a highly fascinating trailer which made me await this film. Luckily, this film got released in Telugu and made my job easier. The film took off very well showing the sweet father-daughter relationship. It turned curious when a cop called Joseph with his original name. Here, music director “G.V.Prakash” supported Atlee a lot with this energetic background score. Trailer was interesting and unpredictable but after the police station’s scene, narration became very predictable.

I like Vijay because the plots mixed with class and mass elements suit him a lot. Even classy plots get a mass appeal with his stardom. Theri proves this point in the scene with goons in a school. Despite the patience tester “Jithu Jilladi”, I liked the action sequence with juvenile Mafia shot in a busy road junction. It stands as an example for how can a director use his actor’s stardom. Besides this, the entire love track between Vijay Kumar and Mithra with significant director’s mark was sweeter. Still, forget about the duet between them.

Atlee had taken a good care in converting the environment from Tamil to Telugu like translating hoardings but he hadn’t taken care of the length of a scene. This cop story got some episodes which are very lengthy. Take that molestation episode for example. Had it been shorter, it would’ve had a great impact. Vijay’s performance enhanced it in the hospital scene and the confrontation scene with minister (Mahendran). Still, by the time of intermission, the narration left no impact on audiences.

The second half’s narration was horribly dragging when compared to that of first half. Apart from the montage song between Vijay and Mithra, entire second half was sluggish and boring. The marriage proposal scene with Mithra’s parents wasn’t convincing. As soon as the “ghost” was introduced, some people left the auditorium. Remaining audiences had to be very patient. Introducing this “ghost” was felt unnecessary and nothing was new in it. In addition, the climax fight sequence was lengthier. By that time, G.V.Prakash’s background score had become highly monotonous. Due to this, director’s thought of sharing the importance of fatherhood remained ineffective.

Thus, Theri (spark) failed to make its audience feel its intensity due to predictably sluggish narration and awful music.

Performances :

Though the film lagged in narration, Vijay gave his best to enhance it with his style and performance. I liked his performance in the molestation episode and he looked stylish in the juvenile trafficking action sequence. Samantha made her presence felt in the scene with Vijay’s mother. Amy Jackson was a mere waste in the role of Annie. She was used just to enter the plot. Radhika’s presence as Vijay’s mother was not felt. Mahendran’s role had nothing new as an antagonist. Rajendran entertained a little. A special mention is deserved by “Baby Nainika”. She did extremely well and even overshadowed Vijay at some places. Prabhu Ganesan appeared in a small role.

Overall Eminences :

  1. George C. Williams’s Cinematography. All the visuals were very slick especially the ones shot in Kerala.
  2. T. Muthuraj’s Art Direction. The locations of Kerala like school, church and Joseph’s house were good.
  3. Production Values. Producer Thanu didn’t compromise at any place in making this film appear rich.

Lowlands :

  1. Bad Narration. Old plot narrated sluggishly with unnecessary “ghost” episodes till 158 minutes.
  2. Anthony’s Editing. Most of the sequences were very lengthy.
  3. G. V. Prakash’s Music. Forget about the songs, background score was very monotonous.

– Yashwanth Aluru

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