Vendhu Thanindhathu Kaadu Movie Review
An engaging gangster drama lit up by Silambarasan TR’s top class performance!
Story & Narration
Technical Aspects & Music
Silambarasan and Gautham Menon have joined hands together for the third time with Venthu Thanindhathu Kaadu, and interestingly, the film is unlike anything that the actor and director have done in their careers previously. Picking the gangster genre this time, the duo have brought their best foot forward for a film that is not entirely convincing, but compelling enough on the whole.
Silambarasan TR plays Muthuveeran, a man who goes from Tirunelveli to Mumbai in search of a living after a few hurting incidents in his life. As he moves into the city, he is made to work at a local parotta shop, only to learn more about the events in the lives of the people who work along with him, who in turn pull him into the underworld.
Gautham Menon has explored a path less travelled when it comes to the lives of gangsters, without glorifying it too much in a cinematic fashion, and opting for the realistic angle where a common man is forced into the world without his fullest acceptance. There is a lot to like in the way Menon sets up his first half, as he carefully slots in incidents where one would try and run away from the trouble, but is pulled back in. Though the pacing is meditative, Gautham Menon ensures that the proceedings are not boring in the first half, and keeps things in control along with Rahman’s excellent background score helping the film thoroughly. It is only in the second half where Venthu Thanindhathu Kaadu loses some steam, as it chooses a usual path in the tale. It is interesting that Gautham Menon has tried to explore the personal lives of gangsters and how they have to work hard to keep things together, but the film does get into familiarity bounds and therefore fails to pump up the excitement entirely. Nevertheless, the director does manage to keep things going thanks to Silambarasan’s top class performance and some theatre-worthy moments that keep us engaged until the end.
Silambarasan has indeed delivered a spectacular performance which is a stark opposite to his last film in Maanaadu. The actor shows a lot of range in his body language, expressions, dialogue delivery and mannerisms here, and it is a performance that will give you more to notice with every additional watch.
The actor gets good support from the rest of the cast – Neeraj Madhav has a fine part, Radikaa is really good in the little we see of her, Appukutty is neat and so are the other members who are not too familiar but do a good job. Debutant Siddhi Idnani has lip-sync problems, but she has a nice presence in the film that works in favour of it.
AR Rahman’s scintillating score proves the worth of his combination with Gautham Menon once again, as there is so much to enjoy in his compositions be it the songs or the background score. Marakkuma Nenjam is essentially the heart of the film, as it is omnipresent throughout the narrative. The cinematography by Siddhartha Nuni and the edit are finely carried out, with a special mention to the single take shots.
On the whole, Vendhu Thanindhadhu Kaadu works out as a finely made gangster drama that could have been better if it had more detailing in the second half about the gangster world, instead of the usual snake and ladder games that we have already seen in this space. While Gautham Menon and STR got their setting right, it could have been more engaging. Yet, this film is special in many ways and is definitely worth watching on the big screen. Vendhu Thanindhathu Kaadu Movie Review by Siddarth Srinivas