SPOILER ALERT! Without revealing a major element in the script, which is also a suspense factor, it will be impossible to review the new Aishwarya Rajesh film Thittam Irandu. So please keep that in mind if you have plans to read the rest of the review. Thittam Irandu is far from perfect for sure. In fact, for almost 75% of the film, you will be looking at this thriller as a concept that lacks the punch. Familiar traits and deliberate detours to delay the reveals etc., aren’t that pleasing. But at the very end of the film, the movie sort of enters a space that no one would have predicted, and the “pertinence” of that climax twist gives the movie a certain level of respectability despite being sluggish in the craft side.
Athira, a police officer, is our main protagonist. She is working in Chennai. One day she gets a call from her childhood friend Surya’s husband saying Surya was missing. Later it gets revealed that she died in an accident, and Athira senses some foul play in it. Athira’s efforts to find the killer and the motive for all this are what Thittam Irandu is showing us.
The life of transgender people who are forced to live in a body that they can’t accept as their own has not been showcased in mainstream cinema that frequently. Rarely do movies happen with such themes, and most of the time, those are tragic stories. Vignesh Karthick’s intention of placing that relevant theme in a thriller that on paper looks intriguing is definitely appreciable. When the movie started talking about the trans people issue, I felt disappointed about the fact that it got released in the OTT platform and that too on a relatively newer one like Sony LIV. Because the pitching of the movie is loud, and they are targeting those who aren’t a fan of subtlety.
Vignesh Karthick seems to have created a thriller around the socially relevant theme he wanted to convey. The problem with such kind of story building is that you will be creating moments in the screenplay for your convenience, which will lack conviction when you see it on screen. For instance, when you see Arjun at the beginning of the movie, you are pretty sure that he is not there for a love track. There is a scene where Athira is walking into danger, and she gets a call, and it will have connectivity issues. The kind of eccentricity the character shows in that scene exposes the director’s inability to build that scene grippingly. As a thriller, Thittam Irandu barely qualifies to be considered as average. But because of the lack of representation of trans people in films, a thriller genre giving attention to those lives creates an emotional impact on the viewer.
Aishwarya Rajesh is okay in her performance. It was actually the writing that was letting us down. The character of Athira feels like any other cheesy Tamil leading lady character, but the only difference is that she is a cop here. Subhash Selvam plays the character of Arjun in the movie, and when you backtrack the whole thing, the creepiness he adds to this character is a bit too much. Ananya Ramprasad conveys the dilemma of the character she plays very effectively within a few scenes.
Thittam Irandu goes like a sluggish and unexciting thriller for a major chunk of its runtime. But when they reveal the twist, the thriller aspect sort of takes a side seat, and the movie becomes this message-driven social drama. Because of this unexpected change in tone, Thittam Irandu becomes a watchable film in totality.
The "pertinence" of the climax twist gives the movie a certain level of respectability despite being sluggish on the craft side.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended