It is an engrossing cop film that keeps you glued to the screen every moment.
In his pre-release interviews, director Vinoth spoke extensively about the compromises that filmmakers need to deal with.
The romance portion in his latest film, Theeran: Adhigaaram Ondru, is one. The oddly-placed ‘Tinga Tinga’ song is another. They’re both minor speed-breakers in an otherwise riveting cop story that definitely warrants a watch.
The film opens with Theeran (Karthi) getting a phone call about a particular case. “It’s a case I so wanted to forget and this call brings back memories,” he says, as the film cuts to flashbacks. There are a couple of them — one is about how he’s become a cop and a romance angle with Priya (Rakul Preet Singh) that is enjoyable, but totally avoidable. But the juice of the story is in what ensues and how Theeran gets embroiled in a case that will turn his life upside down.
The case details are simple: a gang has been involved in highway dacoity, brutally murdering their victims and looting valuables. They leave behind a lot of bloodshed, but almost no clues. It’s a file that has been seldom looked into by cops, but DSP Theeran is insistent on following it up. He thinks it will be an ordinary case, one that’s among hundreds in the paperwork that clog our police crime libraries, but slowly, it turns out to be something extraordinary.
Once the director settles down after the romance portions, he’s in full form. There’s sincerity in the writing and research — he throws light on the history and origins of the Bawariya tribe even as he keeps us glued to the current-day developments in the case. And there’s honesty in the performances.
Karthi packs a punch as Theeran and achieves the same earnestness that his brother Suriya brought forth in his earlier cop flicks Kaakha Kaakha and the Singam franchise. There’s also cinematographer Sathyan Sooran’s camerawork in the dusty landscape and Ghibran’s score to look forward to.
There are many highlights in Theeran, some of which even makes us evaluate how cops are portrayed in films. There’s a sequence of a police operation planned right in the middle of a busy Rajasthan market that sparkles. There’s another little gem in the sequence in which a gang organiser is being interrogated and the cops request an extension before a judge. We’ve seen many cop films before. But Theeran hits home hard.