Sivakumar (Vishal) is a timid young man, with a loving family in Madurai. His brother, a government official, earns the wrath of Simmakkal Ravi (Sharath Lohitashwa), the all-powerful gangster in the city. When he is murdered, Sivakumar and his father Kalayanasundaram (Bharathirajaa) plan to take revenge, in their own separate ways.
After the hard-hitting urban romance
Aadhalal Kadhal Seiveer
, Suseenthiran gives us a smartly-written action drama. Like his
Naan Mahan Alla
, this film too is about a family whose harmony is shattered by anti-social elements, and the consequential quest for revenge by the hero. But that film was an uneven one, swaying between excessive cuteness and extreme violence. But, here, the director manages to find a balance between the 'family moments' and the action. Also, the family at the centre of this film feels real enough and not overtly cinematic.
The film initially plays out in parallel tracks — on one, we are introduced to the family of Sivakumar, which includes a retired father, a doting mother, a supportive brother and sister-in-law, and their talking-beyond-her-years child. Meanwhile, on the second track, we get to see the ruthless ascension of Simmakkal Ravi into Madurai's most feared man. His only real challenger is Sivappu Ravi, who, like him, was also a protege of his late mentor. He takes him out of the picture in one swift move, and gets everyone from ministers to cops in his pocket and makes the city his own.
These two tracks meet when Siva's brother, whose conscience begins to trouble him after a spate of deaths in Ravi's quarry, writes about the illegal work going on there, which results in the place being sealed off. Ravi kills him in an ingenious way. With his son's death gnawing at him, the shattered Kalyanasundaram, without the knowledge of his family, tries to hire paid killers to murder Ravi, while Shiva, with some help from his friend Ganesan, plots to kill Ravi at an opportune moment.
It is always satisfying when a filmmaker puts in some amount of thought into a genre film. In
, we can see Suseenthiran's attempts to provide something fresh to a worn-out revenge tale in the little touches he adds to the scenes. He shows Siva as a docile man who has a tendency to stammer when situations get tense — he even lets a man stop his bike and slap him in the middle of the road. Later, to demonstrate his bravery to school teacher Malar (Lakshmi Menon), with whom he has fallen in love, and who is, incidentally, his tenant, Siva seeks the help of his tough guy friend Sethu (Vikranth). So, when he tries to exact revenge, Siva doesn't instantly turn into an angry young man — a one-man army demolishing all the villains; that happens much, much later. Instead, we are shown how he plots Ravi's murder. He begins by tracking the man 24X7, and since we are earlier shown Siva's profession (mobile phone repairing), we buy into his method to track Ravi.
Little details like the movies playing in the theatre where Siva observes Ravi (
the first time and
after a year), Ravi's boast to Siva's brother that he has a fleet of buses, and Kalyanasundaram's ability to hire paid killers (his friend is a lawyer) go a long way in not only making the events plausible but also add depth to the plot. Even the sub-plot involving Siva's friend Sethu is brought into the main plot in a nifty way.
And, surprisingly, there are no bonding scenes between Siva and Kalyanasundaram. For the father, his second son is a mild let down; he isn't in a great job like his elder brother and is also not brave enough, though he doesn't hate or curse him for that. So, when we see the old man taking it upon himself to find closure, we are not surprised. And, Bharathirajaa is fantastic in the role, finding the right pitch that neither makes the character melodramatic nor underplayed.
The film's sore point is the romantic track, and one suspects even Suseenthiran was less interested in this side of the story. So, Lakshmi Menon comes across as an unavoidable necessity. There are also times when the director goes a little overboard in the emotional scenes — when Kalyanasundaram is about to light his son's pyre, he cuts to a shot of a nurse with a baby announcing that he has a son. And, the action sequences, especially the climatic one, feel fairly routine. When we see one (so far meek) man taking on almost two dozen guys, it seems rather unimaginative in an otherwise clever film.