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Times of India
Synopsis: An auto driver becomes the prime suspect in a series of murders and has to race against time to save his loved ones and clear his name.
Review: Sathuran has an interesting storyline that, like Yennai Arindhaal and Kaaki Sattai earlier this year, revolves around a medical cover-up. The protoganist is Dheena, a happy-go-lucky auto driver. He is honest and expects others to be so; he falls in love at first sight, and doggedly pursues the girl despite her clearly telling him that she doesn't want anything to do with him; he also protects girls who are harassed by cops; and, he fights back when he is pushed to a corner. In short, someone with all the qualities that we see in a commercial film hero.
He unwittingly takes on two hitmen as his passengers and becomes the prime suspect following a couple of murders (one of the victims is his friend), one night. Even as he is shocked by this, he learns that his father and his lover might be the killers' next targets and races to save them. But first, he has to escape from the arrogant cop stands in his way.
Sathuran is able to generate thrills and suspense thanks to its pulpy plot, but the film doesn't soar as you expect it to. It is weighted down by a protracted set-up that serves mainly as a build-up for its hero. Given that the character is an auto driver, we get a mandatory song about auto drivers (the director is an erstwhile assistant of Suresh Krissna and these portions feel like a tribute to his guru's Baasha). We get a romantic track that involves a running gag about the hero ending up below the heroine's legs and looking up at her. It isn't as crude as it sounds, but it isn't amusing either. And all the actors seem to act an an exaggerated pitch. Even Kaali Venkat, who underplays in his other films, overacts. But the worst is Raju Eswaran, who plays the cop character; he is so over-the-top that he never feels realistic.
Thankfully, once the plot kicks into the gear (around the time the killers come to Chennai), it holds our attention to an extent. But if only had the execution been better, we would have been treated to a thrilling genre film. For now, we will have to be content with the night-time cinematography by Monik Kumar (who has worked as an assistant in Slumdog Millionaire), who shows Chennai in a different light and is a major plus for the film.