The film absorbs us into it when the characters are introduced with the aid of headlamp of vehicles which cross the road. From there to the end, 'Mounaguru' doesn't allow our thoughts to wander anywhere, as the gripping thriller by Santhakumar demands full attention.
Finally, Arulnidhi gets the break he deserved with 'Mounaguru' and the actor equally shares the credit with the director. As a youngster whose deeds speak more than his words, Arulnidhi performs like a seasoned artiste. He reflects well an ordinary man, who is in an extraordinary situation.
With the help of a tight screenplay and apt star cast, Santhakumar passes out with flying colours in his first film itself. Without eulogizing the protagonist and sans violence, the director has presented an action thriller.
Karunakaran (Arulnidhi) comes to Chennai to his brother's house to continue his studies, as he is sent out of the college in Madurai, thanks to a scuffle. He is different from others as the youngster is unpredictable at times.
Since he finds it odd to stay in his brothers' house, Karunakaran shifts his base to a hostel. The change of places fails to change Karunakaran, as he continues to be in his usual self. In the meantime, Aarthi (Iniya), sister of Karunakaran's sister-in-law (his brother's wife) falls for him.
Karunakaran's life undergoes a world of change when he has to face a few corrupt police officials, led by Assistant Commissioner Marimuthu (John Vijay). At one point of time, he is even admitted to a home for mentally retarded thanks to a plot by the policemen. Did Karunakaran manage to come out of hurdles is the rest of 'Mounaguru'.
It's Arulnidhi's emotions that make up the film as he doesn't have many dialogues to utter. Understanding fully well the depth of the character he is donning, the young artiste emerges triumphant with his performance. Be it the PCO scene or the one in which he beats up a policeman but takes care of his child, the actor is in his full form.
Iniya gets to do a role which is total contrast when compared to 'Vaagai Sooda Vaa'. As a medical student, she spreads the charm on screen. Watch out for her reactions during her encounters with Arulnidhi.
John Vijay as a corrupt police official delivers a power-packed performance. Uma Riyaz as a pregnant police officer is not just good at investigation, but at making her impact felt too. Others in the cast seem to have been picked after a thorough selection process.
To describe Mahesh Muthusamy's cinematography as Santhakumar's eyes will be no exaggeration. The cameraman's work is of top class from the very first scene itself. Thaman has scored big time in his background composition.
Despite the second half being lengthy and some jerks appearing here and there, 'Mounaguru' is no doubt a worthy attempt by Santhakumar. The filmmaker makes us wonder whether this is really his first venture. And that's what we call the power of silence.