Nenjil Thunivirunthal: A couple of good twists don’t save this uninspired thriller

Nenjil Thunivirundhal, much like its villain (played by Harish Uthaman, who brings to the role a lot of quiet menace), is a con artist. It pretends to be an enterprising thriller, but what it actually is, is your garden-variety cliché-ridden film. Suseenthiran is constantly almost apologetic about these clichés, and you can see it in the writing. The film’s not above using your average TASMAC song featuring hero and friends, after a guy complains about a girl leaving him. The director knows it’s a banal idea, and so, gives you a song that talks instead about how all women shouldn’t be blamed for the faults of one. There’s even a bit of male bashing in the song. The villain’s again your average money-obsessed thug with a predilection for slo-mo smoking, but he’s apparently different because when he murders a target, he also murders another as a smokescreen.

Nenjin Thunivirundhal
Director: Suseenthiran
Cast: Sundeep, Vikranth, Harish Uthaman

Sometimes, they don’t even bother with rethinking the cliché. The hero, Kumar (Sundeep), is best friends with Mahesh (Vikranth), and you know this because he says, “Matha pitha guru dheivam nu solluvanga. But enakku matha pitha guru nanban.” Someone ask for extra cheese? Considering the film has two popular actors — Sundeep and Vikranth — there are two romantic tracks, with Mahesh’s being way more interesting, given that he’s in love with Kumar’s sister. There’s little that I remember about Kumar’s own track, except for some abysmal lip-syncing by Mehreen Pirzada who plays his girlfriend. While Mahesh’s track is indeed more interesting, I’ll probably remember it most for the exaggerated rage with which Kumar’s mother reacts upon learning of the relationship. She sits in her room, seething, her eyes red in rage, and threatens to kill herself. Why? She’s just seen a selfie of the couple at a recent wedding, and spoken with the girl’s friend. And yet, she reacts like she’s just caught them naked in a motel in the middle of some dark sexual experiments.

To be fair though, some of the twists are interesting, especially the one concerning the fall-out between Kumar and Mahesh, but they’re not nearly good enough to get you gaping in shock. The scene that did that for me though was when Kumar, who’s just heard that his sister is abducted and in imminent danger, takes the time out to deliver a passionate speech over how the medical profession shouldn’t be thought of as a business. He even channels his inner Ramanaa and shares a factoid: “No wonder 53 per cent of all doctors in India are fake.” Dude, stop with the stats and go save your sister! But this sort of rationale, I imagine, mustn’t be expected from a film which has a dark guy getting called ‘black brother’, and an overweight guy getting called ‘kutti yaanai’. Imman even gets an elephant trumpeting in the background just to make things clearer.

This review was written for Cinema Express, the cinema division of The New Indian Express. All copyrights belong to the organisation. Do link to its page if you’d like to share it.

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