The following article is by Uneshddarann Nagandran and it is not IndiaGlitz's take towards anyone or anything
My rating, overall: 8.7/10
A common man's slow process of becoming his people's leader is the story of Thalaivaa. The story is very similar to The Godfather's, Nayagan's and so on. But, it is a valid one-liner story. It does not complicate audiences and prone to loopholes. The tough part is the execution of this one-liner into a feature length movie. Director A.L Vijay has pulled it off quite well.
The transformation process of the common man has been shown in a very unhurried pace. This adds class to the overall movie. In fact, Thalaivaa shows the process mainly, because the protagonist only becomes the leader in the last scene. The slow pace suggests that the movie is a commercial drama instead of an action thriller. This worked well because Mr. Director is the best in it. Songs were placed in their rightful positions. The first half traveled in a sweet and sugar coated story line. The second half became dry and draggy for a moment but picked up its pace without taking a long time. Although minute, but there were 1 usual cliche (hero doesn't get shot when bullets fly around) and 2 logic defying scenes (antagonist hides in the prison cell without being noticed by police and escaping from armed polices in a van) which were very transparent to me. I do not know why A.L Vijay chose to picture Thalaiva Thalaiva song with people hailing the leader. It has been a very long time since such picturization came out, and it turned out to be fake and cheesy. He could have just let the song as narration like how he did for half of the song.
Powerful dialogues have been pillars for Thalaivaa. The idea of using a theme dialogue which goes: 'Ithu ottha vazhi pathai. Oru thadavai namma kaiyiku katthi vanthuchina, onnu kaakum, ille alikum' is brilliant. It describes the entire movie in a sentence.
Nirav Shah, as usual has leveled a movie several notches higher with his cinematographic skills. The angles and the type of lens he chose to portray different moods were apt. One should watch out for the way he threw a different light on Sydney, Australia in the first half of the movie.
Although overall editing was good, but Anthony could have scissored the movie at many points and made it even shorter and compact. 3 hours is a lengthy movie duration. Sound editing could have been continuous at certain places without being abruptly stopped.
Vijay plays two distinct characters. This guy is becoming younger each movie he acts. As an actor, he has improved immensely. His bubbly character in the first half and the serious one in the second half were properly carried out. He emotes perfectly too. Sathyaraj did full justice to his role as the people's leader and a dad. Santhanam is becoming more than a comedian in movies nowadays. Actresses are always given meaty roles in A.L Vijay's movies, and Thalaivaa is not exception. Amala Paul did a good job as a lover and police officer. Overall, everyone did a very good job under the cap of the movie's genre.
Vijay's and Sathyaraj's character were well justified. Amala Paul's sudden change of character was a good twist, but one doubts whether a police officer would go around romance and dance for the sake of investigation. But well, its a commercial drama and all that is justified as well. Reasons behind Ponvannan's character turning bad could have been explained further.
Songs (0.3/0.5): Tamil Pasanga, Yaar Indha Saalai Oram, Vaanganaa Vanakkanganna stands out of the other 5 songs.
Background Music (0.5/0.5): G.V Prakash has given one of his best works. The Ecstacy of Dance is pleasant to listen to and Thalaivaa theme music prepares the audience for some heroic moments.
The color and tone were super rich. First half was a color extravaganza. Bright colors were thrown throughout and made the movie look very pretty. Second half was colored with Mumbai's native color. It appears like two distinct movies pre and post interval, but it was nice and gave a different feel.
OTHER NOTABLE/RELATABLE DEPARTMENTS (0.9/1)
Costumes (0.2/0.2): Costume designs were marvelous throughout the movie, especially for Vijay and Amala Paul.
Visual Effects (0.2/0.2):
Title card design and credit roll at the beginning were very creative. Different leaders of our world shown in the credit roll suggests that this movie has a strong message embedded in it.
The creative director for the art department has gone wild with his concepts in Tamil Pasanga and Thalaiva Thalaiva songs.
Though Santhanam is a big highlight in the movie, but not all parts of his comedy were funny. One could only expect more from him.