Good times are indeed started for young actor Gautham Karthik who has been struggling to establish himself in the film industry. After the critically acclaimed hit film ‘Rangoon’ that released last month, Gautham Karthik could not have asked for a better follow up than ‘Ivan Thanthiran’ directed by R.Kannan which is an enjoyable commercial entertainer that deals with a social issue affecting the students and education in a pretty convincing manner.
Sakthi (Gautham Karthik) and his friend Balaji (RJ Balaji) are Engineering graduates who run a business of their own by functioning as Reverse Engineers who copy and create duplicates of original products and are also experts in repairing electronic equipment.
Sakthi being a technocrat creates a video evidence to prove the corrupt means of the Union Human Resource Development Minister Devaraj (Super Subbarayan) who extracts huge bribe money from private engineering colleges in Tamil Nadu, which in turn affects the poor and middle class students in the form of sudden extra fees, charged by the colleges to pay bribe to the minister.
He uploads the video in social media and that results in a mass student uprising against the minister. The ruling party suspends Devaraj from the minister post and he has to face an inquiry commission and prove his innocence to get back his post.
Devaraj starts a search operation to find out Sakthi and kill him and he also does everything to erase the evidences against him.
What happens to Sakthi’s campaign against Devaraj and how does he safeguard himself from the powerful and corrupt politician forms the rest of the film.
The hero introduction scenes, a template introduction song and a few other intiial scenes, gives us the feel of yet another underwhelming commercial film that tries to be an entertainer. But once the hero and his friend enters the minister’s house this feel flies off and the attention of audience gets glued to the screens and it is retained predominantly till the end.
Director Kannan has delivered the film with a different concept and dealt with a social menace within the commercial format. The technologies used by the hero in the film are explained in the optimum level for the audience without confusing them a bit. This proves the writer-director’s ground work and intelligence.
Also the issue he has addressed through the film can be easily associated by every section of audience especially the youngsters. The film handles the issue of corruption affecting the higher education in the state, in the best possible manner and easily exploits all the fortunes of taking up this as its core subject.
The film is also engaging and at times entertaining thanks to RJ Balaji’s hilarious dialogues and counters. Even the love portion between the hero and the heroine played by Shraddha Srinath does not look like a mere commercial ingredient. The love and build up for love scenes and also a duet song come after the tense interval block. Surprisingly this does not dampen the audience’s interest.
This is because it comes organically within the story as the heroine’s character and her evolution of her relationship with the hero plays an important role in the story. The love scenes and the songs are also beautifully written and executed. Especially the scene in which the hero proposes to the heroine, comes with the charming touches of Kannan’s mentor Mani Ratnam.
”Ivan Thandhiran’, officially reserves a berth in history for being the first Tamil film (probably the first Indian film?) to include the Demonetisation announcement of the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in November last year and its positive effects. Special kudos to the director for using this in a smart and intelligent manner to take forward the last stages of the film and giving a convincing end.
One the downside, the film takes too much of cinematic liberties in the way it portrays a commoner though with enormous technical skills, bringing down the empire of a powerful Union minister. Also the villain character in a film like this should have been portrayed much smarter and powerful.
not just in speech (dialogues) but also in his activities. This raises some unavoidable logic related questions. It is also not easy to believe a hero who has been portrayed as a common man,fighting with menacing goons. This can be forgiven as a commercial compromise.
Guatham Karthik has done a neat job giving all the requirements for the character in apt proportions. But it will be better if he focuses more on dialogue delivery and corrects his Tamil diction which sounds odd at times.
Shraddha Srinath looks very much homely and pretty and surprisingly gets a meatier role in which she does not leave anything to complain about. But her costumes and makeup does not match that of a middle class girl who cannot afford to pay a few thousands. This again seems to be a deliberate commercial compromise.
RJ Balaji plays the role of hero’s friend which is not just that. He comes almost throughout the film and serves the purpose of his casting with the hilarious dialogues and counters. He is also quite adequate with his performance in serious scenes.
Super Subbarayan as the lead villain has given his best to make the character menacing. Stunt Silva fits his role of the minister’ s Man Friday. Hari Krishnan (of ‘Kabali’ fame) makes a good impact with his extended cameo as a technocrat.
Thaman’s songs are pleasant on the ears and eyes, with the romantic ‘Medhakavitta’ number staying in the in mind for long. Cinematography byPrasanna Kumar aptly supplements the film while Editing by Selva RK helps for a smooth narration.
Verdict: Apart from some initial glitches and commercial compromises, ‘Ivan Thanthiran’ has nothing big to complain about and it is a thoroughly enjoyable entertainer with a genuine care for the students as its core.