“Thaanaa Serndha Koottam”… A mass-ified remake of ‘Special 26’ that’s quite entertaining

Posted on January 12, 2018

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Spoilers ahead…

Read the full review on Film Companion, here: http://www.filmcompanion.in/article/thaanaa-serndha-koottam-movie-review

Thaanaa Serndha Koottam is a remake of Neeraj Pandey’s Special 26, which was about a group of con artists who conduct raids pretending to be CBI officials and saunter away with the loot. If you’ve seen the original, the question — given the general air of moral uprightness that surrounds the Tamil-film hero — is whether they’ll retain the gleeful sense of amorality around the crimes. Short answer: they don’t. In an early scene, we see the character played by Suriya being interviewed for a CBI job in the Economic Offences department. (Wait for the Sasikala joke in the second half!) When asked about his interest in this particular division, he replies with an earnest punchline: “Podhaikka vaendiyadhu ponatha… panatha illa!”

And this tone nudges the film from a cheeky heist thriller into a Shankar movie, albeit a light-hearted one. In the latter, this kind of line builds up the character, whose intensity taps into our own grievances about the System — we urge the damaged hero to become a vigilante on our behalf. Thaanaa Serndha Koottam doesn’t want to dig that deep. There’s a ton of humour, beginning with Anandraj’s “mind voice,” and the director Vignesh Shivn actually winks at the Shankar flashback within the construct of a Shankar flashback. (We expect tragedy. We get comedy. Then, we get the tragedy) So the heavy-handed messages — especially towards the end — and the naalu paerukku philosophy (from Nayakan, invoked here) don’t fit. I was thankful that at least the Enge endru povadhu number wasn’t used in its entirety. Thoughts this existential have no business being in a film that just wants to entertain.

Continued at the link above.

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Posted in: Cinema: Tamil