Movie Review: Thaanaa Serndha Koottam (Tamil)

As a massy, more comedic adaptation of Neeraj Pandey's Special 26, Vignesh ShivN's Thaanaa Serndha Koottam is at best a passable attempt at straddling the sensibilities of a gripping heist thriller and a commercial entertainer, once again reiterating why the two extremes don't often mix well. "Jayikirathu antha dhanda koottama, illa nammala maathiri thaanaa serndha koottama," utters Iniyan (a charming Suriya) as the movie leaves us primed for the inevitable confrontation between his Robin Hood gang and the cops who are hot on their trail for posing as CBI officials and looting corrupt men of their wealth. Yet this line, aimed straight at the masses, feels out of place in a film that's more a compromise, a story about a hero who feels the need to root out corruption in the system (can our heroes for once steal for self-motivated reasons and not for the common good?) because he was denied a bright future and his friend committed suicide for being unable to get the job he wanted. Now as incredulous and needlessly sappy as the backstories sound (none of which found a place in the original), the makers' need to force-fit a romantic track into the plot is as tiresome as the preachy sermons that have come to be a staple part of these movies. What a pity!


  1. Whoa! Didn’t expect this much dislike from you, but there were other people that did criticize this film for unsuccessfully commercializing this film, and to be fair, I didn’t like this film as much as Special 26. However, aside from the contrived climax action block and the romantic sequences, I did find the movie to be adequately engaing, mainly due to the humor (the unconventional type that made Naanum Rowdy Dhaan awesome), the art direction, and the performances. While I do understand (and partly agree with) your criticism of this film, I would have given this at least an A.

    1. Had TSK been a standalone feature, I might have been inclined to give it an A. But given how the original has butchered (for lack of a better term) in the name of giving it a commercial touch (not that Special 26 wasn't commercial, it was too, but the makers had the sense to focus on the story and little else), I find it troubling that big-budget Tamil film makers are shying away from solid thrillers. Theeran Adhigaaram Ondru and Vikram Vedha are perhaps the only two recent examples I can think of that managed this quite well.


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