What is it all about
Its here... after all the hype, wanted and unwanted hoopla the sensational Vijay's highly awaited and the only release of the year is here on the silver screen..
Living more to the school of filmmaking by Mani Ratnam, RGV and less to the hype.. 'Thalaivaa' still manages to lead in a league of its own thanks to Vijay's riveting performance and some notable stand out moments that make Thalaivaa different from the run of the mill gangster films.
Director Vijay and the sensationally popular actor Vijay take Thalaivaa to a stylized, dramatized gangster epic that takes a small leaf of Once Upon a Time in Mumbai's Varadarajan Mudaliar on which Mani Ratnam Nayakan was made.. but remember it's just a leaf of inspiration and that's it..
Its 1988 writer director Vijay opens 'Thalaivaa' with the death of Mumbai's King of Dharavi (Asia biggest slum) Varadarajan Mudaliar the rival group goes on a rampage and we are introduced to Satyaraj who takes the job of protecting Varadarajan's Dharavi in his hands and letting his son Vijay to be brought up in Australia.. divulging more will act as spoilers.. the rest is how Vijay lands in Mumbai and becomes the leader the people at Dharavi.
What to look out for
As in the opening credits director Vijay thanks his mentors Mani Ratnam and RGV.. Thalaivaa is the director tribute to his masters.. the quality of a high octane gangster movie is evident from director's Vijay's work in the beginning and he does a neat job. The detailing is evident like the poster of bollywood movies of the 80's in the backdrop during the opening scenes.. he introduces actor Vijay very well to the audience and his transformation from a dancer to a gangster isn,t sudden.. Vijay slowly and gradually develops the transformation while engaging the audience in the act. The final cat and mouse game is a highlight and Vijay's outburst at the hospital is heartwarming and comes with a message.
Actor Vijay is in complete command over here.. in one word he is Brilliant.
Satyaraj is fantastic and completely natural. Amala Paul leaves her mark and gets a meaty role. Santhanam is funny. G.V. Prakash Kumar music has two good numbers TamizhPasanga and the title track. Technicalities are fine. Nirav Shah lense work is eye pleasing. Ragini Nandwani is okay.
Thalaivaa falls prey to the push and pull of commercial cinema and artistic excellence. In order to add more contrast director Vijay takes his own sweet time in making Vijay the Thalaivaa and forces us to sit through the romantic angle which gets stretched for too long and the momentum looses making the audience feel whether they are watching a rom com. The second love angle was not at all necessary. The villain Abhimanu Singh is a letdown. Action is routine.
Conclusion: Thalaivaa is something between a classy gangster flick or a racy action drama..it may not be the best gangster drama but certainly is driven by Vijay.s terrific performance.. watch it for your favourite Vijay he leads Thalaivaa in a league of its own..