Thani Oruvan: Film Review – A Taut Thriller with Style and Substance

 Director M. Raja surely knows a thing or two about delivering fast-paced films. He has a penchant for casting his brother, Jayam Ravi, in his films.  And his latest film, Thani Oruvan, is no different; a crackling action-thriller, this is director M. Raja’s most original film till date. With memorable dialogues, witty one-liners and strong performances, Thani Oruvan keeps you glued to your seat, till the very end. Despite its lengthy run time, Thani Oruvan stands out and hooks you, in ways you can’t imagine.

Early on in the film, we see a 15-year old boy volunteering to go to prison for a crime he never committed- the local MLA decides to strike a deal with him. You know what happens when you make a deal with the devil? The devil keeps on expecting favors you cannot refuse. In any film, if you make the introduction sequence as gripping as possible, the rest just falls into place. This is exactly what the director does in this film. And he certainly does it right. A little time in, the film might seem like Jayam Ravi’s previous film Peranmai, just another cop story, where an officer takes down the bad guy. But as the film proceeds, you realize it’s not what you expected it to be.  
The first-half of the film establishes the lead characters in the story – including a team of very good supporting artists like Ganesh Venkatraman and Harish Uthaman. And it completely relies on these guys and the lead Jayam Ravi. The second-half of the film is much more tense. A racy cat-and-mouse sequence between Jayam Ravi and Arvind Swamy begins. An epic showdown between good and evil takes place. And it’s fantastic! 
One of the great things about Jayam Ravi is how subtly he delivers intense scenes. And he nails his part. His character succeeds in pinning down his enemy without losing focus. Even his voice modulation is commendable. The romantic scenes between Jayam Ravi and Nayantara are quite nice. It’s refreshing to see an unusual romantic tale. Even the comedy portion featuring Thambi Ramaiah works quite well. But it is Arvind Swamy who sets the tone of this film! His calm yet striking performance, with a tinge of evil, is perfect for his role. His engaging screen presence is the reason why we missed seeing the actor on screen, for so many years.  
One of the other highlights of this movie is its swift pace. The dialogues are realistic, without being too preachy. One of the problems with the film is the placement of the duet song. Another problem is the color tone of the film. In the fight scenes, the director provides a cold tone to create an edgy effect, but the bleached look makes it look like a flashback sequence. Also, a few scenes are longer than they need to be. The background score is far from original, but it seems perfectly in sync with the tone of the film.
 Everything is possible when you have a taut screenplay and good actors in your film, which is the policy M. Raja has adopted. For several years now, M. Raja has been giving the Tamil audience remakes of popular films, in which his brother Jayam Ravi has played the lead role. The director has finally stepped out of his comfort zone, and has given us the engaging Thani Oruvan.

Why You Should Watch This Movie:
If you’re looking to watch a fast-paced thriller with compelling performances then Thani Oruvan is your pick. Fans of Jayam Ravi will not be disappointed! The director has come out with a movie with a strong commercial angle to it.