: Sathyam, a real estate agent, who moonlights as a robber. After he robs Rs 250 crore from a couple of businessmen, he becomes the target of a corrupt cop, who is keen on nailing him.
: Following the fiasco over his previous film, Lingaa, KS Ravikumar has played it safe with Mudinja Ivana Pudi, a cat-and-mouse thriller about a shrewd robber and a corrupt cop. The film is formulaic — an unabashed rehash of scenes from many doppelganger films. In fact, the film keeps reminding one of the director's own Villain, which had Ajith playing a common man who was also a criminal — the only difference here is that the hero doesn't have a look-alike twin (no, it is not a spoiler). In the end credits, half-a-dozen directors are listed as having been part of the story discussions, and it looks like each one suggested a sequence from their favourite doppelganger film, and they were all combined to form the film's story.
The story revolves around Sathyam (Sudeep), a soft-spoken real estate agent, who leads another life as a robber. He manages to convince the cops and those around him that those crimes are the handiwork of his look-alike ruffian twin Shiva. However, the two businessmen (Mukesh Towari and Sharath Lohitashwa) he robbed from, and Kishor (Sai Ravi), a corrupt cop who tries to use this as an opportunity to make money, are keen on nailing him. Meanwhile, Sathyam falls in love with Subhashini (Nithya Menen) and upon her urging, decides to turn over a new leaf...
For a film whose plot points are all too familiar, Mudinja Ivana Pudi works (surprise!) to an extent and that is because Ravikumar gets the formula for a leave-your-brains-out entertainer right this time. The film manages to keep you engaged despite being predictable. Even the mandatory tragic flashback is moving, thanks to Prakash Raj, who plays Sathyam's dad. There is a quaint charm in the leisurely narrative style that the director adopts (it is very much a late 90s-early 2000s film in that sense), and all that the film asks of us is to suspend our disbelief. The romantic track, most often a weak link in such films, is quite amusing, and it helps that the film has someone like Nithya Menen, who sells these scenes. The villains are the weaklings here, and as much as Sai Ravi tries, he can't shake off the dubbed film villain feel.
The close shaves that Sathyam has when Kishor tries to corner him are entertainingly executed, and are the film's highlight. Sudeep does well in these scenes, but given that he isn't very popular here, we can't help but wonder if they would have become true whistle-worthy moments if the film had one of our own mass heroes as the lead. Perhaps, taking a cue from the storyline, Ravikumar should have rather teamed up with Ajith and made this as Villain 2.