In our school days, everyone’s favorite would be the friendly teachers, who convey the subject by comparing real world issues to make the class interesting and then, there are strict ones, who often makes us restless with their dry theoretical approach. Samuthirakani belongs to the second category.
Thondan is a typical Samuthirakani film, which is Filled with a plethora of messages in an over preachy tone. Vishnu (Samuthirakani) leaves his military job and becomes an ambulance driver as he lost his mother in an accident because the emergency service couldn’t reach her on time to the hospital. He is very attached to his ambulance and calls it “Amma”!!!
Vishnu prefers love over hatred, follows the path of non-violence like Gandhiji that he even changes his friend Vignesh, an alcoholic who tortures his sister Mahisha Soora Parthini (Arthana) in the name of one-sided love. But Vishnu’s honesty and kind-hearted-approach earn him the enmity of local politician’s son Mandiri Narayanan (Namo Narayanan) after saving the life of the latter’s enemy with his ambulance.
Slowly, there comes a situation where Vishnu is unable to save the life of Mandiri Narayanan’s brother, who was walloped by Mahisha Soora Parthini and her friends as he attacked one of their classmates.
After losing his brother, Mandiri Narayanan becomes furious and uses his political influence to destroy Vishnu and his family members but our hero prefers not to react and sketches a master plan (or call it a bizzare plan?) and punishes him legally!
Basically, Samuthirakani’s intentions to make Thondan is very clear, as he uses emergency service as a backdrop to convey several messages. It includes harassment against women, save farmers, bring corrupt politicians to the law, save cattle, pro-Jallikkattu statements etc etc… but as the film ,Thondan is a boring ride. All these messages are thrown here and there, the film lacks coherency and doesn’t have a perfectly knitted screenplay.
Out of the blue, Samuthirakani meets a politician and talks a lengthy dialogue (Didn’t Dhanush do the same in VIP?) on Jallikattu, he would definitely get applause for the scene but how does it differentiate him from opportunistic politicos, who uses the same issue to get votes?
The film also only appears like Samuthirakani’s strategy to become a mass hero, sidekicks in the film speak high on his noble qualities and tries their best to register a Samaritan image for him. The villain-hero clash also turns out to be predictable that Samuthirankani easily wins the game by sitting in a dingy room and collecting all information through a laptop. Felt sorry for Vikranth, a good actor who is under-utilised here in a dumb role. In a cameo, Soori is a big relief.
NK Ekambaram’s cinematography and Justin Prabhakaran’s music are strictly functional in Thondan, the production value is also substandard. To be precise, as a director, Samuthirakani is yet to give his best after Nadodigal. He is in good form even though the film isn’t.
Thondan review: Verdict- Preachy