Any bank heist thriller calls for an adrenaline rush, and Thunivu was no exception. The anticipation around the Ajith Kumar-starrer was nothing short of a firecracker.
The trailer of the film set the mood right as Thala Ajith was dapper in his rustic gangster look, promising a power-packed actioner for Pongal celebrations. Adding to the excitement, Ajith's Thunivu clashes with Varisu, starring , his cinematic archrival.
Thunivu wastes no time in introducing us to the conflict in the story. It's about a gang planning a bank robbery, only to find out that another mysterious group inside is about to double-cross them. But do the thieves have the same motives? Is there a bigger thief who is invisible?
The H. Vinoth directorial kicks off at jet speed, and everything that follows is fast and furious. With a dash of dark humour from Mohana Sundaram and Bagavathi Perumal, coupled with Ajith's stylish moonwalk and his mean anti-hero characteristics, the film hooks you right from the start.
However, just as you become invested in the heist thriller, it abruptly shifts to a vigilante action drama. It registers an important message about bank scams, debt, and how a common man is affected by the corporate mafia. And hence, it feels like a crude mix of Mankatha and Money Heist.
The highlight of Thunivu is Ajith’s swagger and sarcasm. It was interesting to see him don a daring gangster look and effortlessly pull it off with his mere charisma. His performance in fact exuded shades of some of his best roles, including Dheena, Villain, Mankatha, and Billa.
While the rest of the cast, including Samuthirakani, John Kokken, Bagath Perumal, Mohana Sundaram, Amir, Pavni, and Ciby, render neat performances, Manju Warrier steals the show in her stylish action avatar despite her short screen presence. She reminded me of Tokyo from Money Heist.
The fight sequences aren’t just bound within the walls of the bank; we see cars exploding, speedboats racing, and helicopters chasing from the sky. While the ambitious action blocks look classy, one question constantly kept bugging me from the back.
With millions of bullets firing from every angle possible, haven’t Ajith or Manju Warrier heard of bullet-proof vests? Not that they dodge every bullet; even if they are hurt, they still wade through the entire sequence to come out alive (in style). Like how?
Though the core plot is simple, the screenplay makes it slightly complex for the audience to follow. It demands that you be patient until the end to understand the big picture. Even if you do understand, you are still left with unanswered questions.
At one point, Ajith hypes that he is about to narrate a flashback that will stun the villain. But the hasty recollection of the past events was neither exciting nor emotional, leaving no real impact in the audiences' minds.
Also, in an attempt to provide comic relief, the film uses derogatory words like "loosu" (ret***ed) and, in another instance, asks a goon to wash the toilet as a punishment for being a quidnunc. Though these are presented as funny dialogues, it is important to note that they may have real-life consequences for disabled people and the Dalit community, who still face discrimination.
Thunivu, on the other hand, is far from a mediocre fare. It is impressive in parts. If not completely, it at least stays half-true to its tagline, "No guts, no glory." The film bankrolled by Boney Kapoor is running in cinemas now.