Theeran Adhigaaram Ondru is easily one of the best police procedurals to come out of Tamil cinema after a long time. A fascinating study into the dastardly real-life murders by cold-hearted dacoits who shook Tamil Nadu in the early 2000s, Theeran is a consistently involving, exhaustively researched, and rivetingly staged investigation thriller that keeps you glued to the screen despite its extended run-time.
Not every filmmaker comes up with a noteworthy sophomore project after making an assured directorial debut. With the powerfully-directed Theeran Adhigaaram Ondru, Vinoth has proved he’s not a one-hit wonder and that he’s here to stay. Theeran Adhigaaram Ondru is easily one of the best police procedurals to come out of Tamil cinema after a long time.
A fascinating study into the dastardly real-life murders by cold-hearted dacoits who shook Tamil Nadu in the early 2000s, Theeran is a consistently involving, exhaustively researched, and rivetingly staged investigation thriller that keeps you glued to the screen despite its extended run-time.
Except for the inevitable cardboard romance track between Karthi and Rakul Preet (who gets to play a reasonably better role than her previous outing Spyder), the film, for the most part, stays true to its genre and steers clear from unmerited cliches that we usually associate with a cop movie. In fact, Theeran makes us view police officers in an entirely different light, a striking contrast from what filmmaker Vetrimaaran demonstrated in Visaaranai. Brutal realism is the only factor that bridges both films; one with its dominant portrayal of self-absorbed cops and the other with its earnest, authentic representation of selfless, sincere cops.
Never before has the life of the police officers in the pre-globalization era and their struggles to bring the culprits to book been documented on screen with such an intelligent, intense writing. Be it giving the audiences a sneak peek into the annals of criminal tribes or narrating a historic feud, Vinoth’s well-defined storytelling skills are always on display.
Theeran is undoubtedly yet another feather in the cap of producer Prabhu SR’s Dream Warrior Pictures, who always strives to support quality, content-driven films with great ambition.
Director Vinoth’s primary achievement in Theeran lies in his genuine glorification of cops with a brutal study on their unnoticed struggles. There are no punch dialogues. No manipulative hero-elevation sequences. No cringe-worthy slo-mo shots. But, Vinoth effortlessly makes us fall in love with them and their intentions with his hard-boiled approach and an uncompromising vision.
The second hero of the film is none other than music composer Ghibran. It’s his sterling background score effort that accelerates the story with great ease. Theeran is yet another substantiation why Ghibran is one of the most under-rated contemporary composers in Tamil cinema. He deserves more big-scale projects than anyone else here.
Karthi’s firebrand performance as a dynamic police officer and his relentless energy shoulder the film, which thrives on magnificently choreographed action sequences by Dhilip Subbarayan. The sprawling deserts and the barren lands of Rajasthan are captured beautifully by cinematographer Sathya Sooryan with his sepia-coloured frames.
Overall, Theeran Adhigaaram Ondru is a must watch investigative action crime thriller, which surely deserves to be in the year-end ‘Best Films’ lists.
Theeran Adhigaram Ondru Movie Review Rating: 3.5/5