Ivan Thanthiran review: Finely crafted, edge-of-the-seat action thriller

Release Date: 30 Jun 2017 / Rated: U / 02hr 01min

Cinestaan Rating

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Manigandan KR

R Kannan, who, until now, was known more for his remake films, delivers a sleek and classy action thriller, putting to rest any doubts about his ability to make films that are not remakes. 

Make no mistake about it, this film is a sureshot winner that is likely to make it to the list of the 10 best films of 2017. Ivan Thanthiran is a finely crafted, edge-of the seat action thriller that focuses on the rotten state of education in the state in general and the engineering stream in particular.

R Kannan, who, until now, was known more for his remake films, delivers a sleek and classy action thriller, putting to rest any doubts about his ability to make films that are not remakes.  

Sakthi (Gautham Karthik) and Balaji (RJ Balaji) are two smart vendors who have their own electronics shop on Richie Street in Chennai. The two, who are dropouts from an engineering college, are not just tech savvy professionals, but also prudent businessmen. Sakthi, in particular, is more astute and a lot firmer when it comes to collecting payments for products or services that they have delivered to customers.

Even as they look to sell computers and its accessories, Sakthi also looks to develop his own mobile phone, which is a cheaper variant of costly smartphones. The two hope to make it big someday by marketing this phone and are constantly looking to make this project a success.

It is under these circumstances that one day, they are asked to fix cameras in education minister Devaraj’s (Super Subbarayan) home. When the two are at the minister’s place and are at the job, the minister announces that he will be cancelling the recognition granted to all those engineering colleges that fail to meet the specifications of the AICTE to protect the interests of the students studying there. While Balaji is excited that some reform is taking place, Sakthi is apprehensive of the move. His apprehensions are proved right and Sakthi gets to know that the minister is only looking to make money out of the whole exercise in the guise of protecting the interests of the students.

Soon, principals of various engineering colleges offer to pay him bribes. We seen one offering a bribe of Rs10 crore for the minister to prevent him from shutting down a college. The engineering colleges in turn look to make good their losses by fleecing students, levying more fees on already stressed out students and desperate parents.

Sakthi finishes the job of installing cameras, but when he asks for the payment, like most politicians, the brother-in-law of the minister, played by Stunt Silva, makes him run around and even threatens them to forgo their payment. Sakthi and Balaji fume but there is little that they can do. They return empty handed.

Meanwhile, the minister’s move to arm-twist engineering colleges to make them pay him bribes works big time and he starts raking in the moolah. The colleges too continue their day-light robbery of students forcing them to cough up more. As a result, one student commits suicide right in front of Sakthi’s  eyes. This and the money that the minister owes him for installing cameras at his place spur Sakthi to take on the minister. What he does next is brilliant and results in the minister losing his post. An enquiry commission is ordered into the allegations.  But then, the minister meanwhile is intent to know who has brought about his downfall…

Ivan Thanthiran has many pluses. The first of these is that it has a super interesting screenplay that keeps you engaged. An excellent cast that delivers is its next biggest strength. Gautham Karthik, Shraddha Srinath, RJ Balaji, Stunt Silva and Super Subbarayan all deliver making this a treat to watch.

Thaman’s music is fantastic. The number Enna Parakavitae is just too good to be missed and shows why Thaman is so highly rated by the Telugu film industry. RK Selva’s editing is sharp. The film is just 2 hours and 1 minute long, with not even a single scene being redundant or boring. That speaks volumes of the editor’s work. On the whole, Kannan seems to have struck it rich with this film.