The commercial movie format is like a drug. Once an actor gets intoxicated by it, he becomes a star. And once he becomes a star, it seemingly gets tough for him to vent out of the circle, making him return occasionally to his rendered comfort zone.
In his latest offering Theri, Vijay seems to be dealing with the same catch 22. With a good load of mass moments, it comes off as another crowd pulling vehicle aimed at his fans and the family audiences. The film rehashes the age-old commercial revenge-masala mix, allowing the viewer to get ahead of it right from frame 1. Following with the usual formula, with the solid star-cast and technical finesse that it possesses Theri is forced for the same patch.
With a great start, Theri gets off to an enjoyable first half with the interval coming in at a high. But it is the second half where things slightly go off track where the film opts for normalcy. If there is a Vijay to love in this film for the family audience, it is the character of Joseph Kuruvilla who runs a bakery in Kerala. The portions between Vijay and Nainika are the highlights of the movie, as the duo create a lovely relationship between themselves despite having less screen time. Nainika in particular is very good, being the naughty kid with a big tongue. If you would leave out this Keralite portion, then there is to like Vijay Kumar’s deputy commisioner of police who takes us for a ride with his mannerisms and voice modulations, which easily continue their way in from his previous masala entertainers.
Samantha looks gorgeous and gets lots to do here, but unfortunately, her role is etched with the dialogues creating lesser impact, barring the one with Radhika. Amy on the other hand, does a good job at being cute. Veteran actor Mahendran makes a decent debut as a baddie here, but you would only wish for an intriguing tug of war between the protagonist and the antagonist.
Technically speaking, Theri scores. George C Williams is pretty much the hero of the film, bringing us bright visuals all the way. His long shots, romantic shades and the special efforts for the interval block don’t go in vain, becoming the lynchpin of the film. Editing by Ruben is neat, though one does feel the bite in the second half. GV Prakash does an acceptable job with the music, though it blows hot and cold in the action blocks.
Toting up, Theri is once again not a different film as once you reach the end, you will realize there are blanks still that needs to be filled up. Atlee puts in all the elements of a commercial film into the old bottle, coming again it’s the root – the story that makes audience ask for more.
Verdict: With some more weight in the plot, Theri would have scaled heights like never before. As of now, it goes down into the list of Vijay’s numerous entertainers as before.
Cast: Ilaya Thalapathy Vijay, Samantha, Amy Jackson, Mahendran, Baby Nainika, Radhika, Motta Rajendran, Prabhu & others
Cinematography: George C Williams
Music: GV Prakash Kumar
Art Direction: Muthuraj
Stunts: Dilip Subbarayan, Kaloyan Vodenicharov
Editing: Anthony L Ruben
Written & Directed by: Atlee
Producer: Kalaipuli S Thanu
Banner: V Creations
Release Date: 14-04-2016
Run Time: 02:38:00
By Shreesha B.U