Thunivu Review | Ajith Kumar Swagger Saves This Convoluted Action Thriller

During the promotional interviews of Thunivu, director H Vinoth openly talked about his shortcomings as a writer. He said that his movies are shaped around specific facts he read or heard somewhere. So creating something emotional has been challenging for him. He has also admitted that he enjoys the meticulous designing of fight sequences. Thunivu is probably a testament to what he has said about his filmmaking process. While the unapologetic nature of its central character gives you that Mankatha vibe, the convolutions of the plot and the verbal spoon-feeding that almost becomes an awareness campaign ad are pulling the movie back.

A group of people has planned a heist mission, and they have the master plan ready. But while the execution of that plan happened, an unknown man skillfully hijacked that heist. Things become very interesting with the outer world having no idea about the heist confusion happening inside. What is the exit plan of the mystery man, and why is he involved in this heist is what we get to know in Thunivu.

I remember being genuinely happy seeing Karthi’s Kaithi primarily because of the release timing. By making such a genre film a festival release, they took a bold risk and were rewarded by the audience with a great response. I am talking about Kaithi in Thunivu’s review because almost 80% of Thunivu is conceived as a pure genre film, and for a festival release, seeing something like that is a bit surprising and somewhat delightful. Yes, there is a patch in the second half where you are shown a back story about why the hero did all this, and there is also this awareness episode that talks about the way banks loot you through credit cards, minimum balance charges, etc. Thunivu would have been a thoroughly enjoyable package if those areas were presented subtly.

Thunivu is an Ajith Kumar show without a doubt, and it felt like a performance he enjoyed a lot seeing the way he flows being that character. “Naanum evlo naal than nallavana nadakirathu” is a zone that Ajith has established as his own, and many films after Mankatha have tried to place him in that space at least for one sequence. Post Mankatha, I would say Thunivu is that movie that exploited Ajith’s ability to pull off that attitude with swagger in a great way. Manju Warrier as Kanmani has relatively less screen time, and even her combination sequences with Ajith are minimal. But one could sense why her seniority works for a character like that. Samuthirakani was fine as the police head. John Kokken, as the antagonist did a nice job (he wasn’t violently eccentric like those villains of Siva)

Thunivu is a mildly diluted action film. Hence the action sequences you get to see in this film aren’t utter nonsense. H Vinoth’s eye for detailing can be clearly seen in the way every action sequence in this film is executed. When a massive shooting is happening, people are getting injured in the most practical ways. A basic respect for physics and human anatomy is there in the making. How Vinoth placed the core theme he wanted to address needed fine-tuning. Financial crimes and how they increase due to our lack of investment-related knowledge need to be addressed. But here, the flow with which Thunivu was going as an action film gets broken by the way Vinoth inserts those preachy flashback portions. The production design looked fine, while certain sequences had terrible visual effects. The placement of the songs is perhaps the only Pongal compromise in Thunivu.

Thunivu is not the best film in H Vinoth’s filmography, but it has many improvements compared to Vinoth’s last star vehicle film Valimai. There is no deliberate attempt to boost the hero as someone who does the right thing, and the effort is to deliver a movie that can be called a heist action thriller. Despite having a script with hiccups in the second half, Thunivu feels like a fun entertainer, mainly because it isn’t trying too much to fit into the requirements of a festival-release superstar film.

Final Thoughts

Despite having a script with hiccups in the second half Thunivu feels like a fun entertainer, mainly because it isn't trying too much to fit into the requirements of a festival-release superstar film


Green: Recommended Content

Orange: The In-Between Ones

Red: Not Recommended


By Aswin Bharadwaj

Founder and editor of Lensmen Reviews.