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Thaanaa Serndha Koottam review: Vignesh Shivn's film is good only in parts

Release Date: 12 Jan 2018 / Rated: U/A / 02hr 19min

Cinestaan Rating

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Manigandan KR

If you haven't watched the Hindi film Special 26 (2013), chances are you will like Thaanaa Serndha Koottam.

Director Vignesh Shivn's Thaanaa Serndha Koottam is a slightly altered remake of the Hindi hit Special 26 (2013) starring Akshay Kumar, Kajal Aggarwal and Manoj Bajpayee.

Iniyan (Suriya) is a street-smart youngster whose childhood ambition is to become a CBI officer. His dad Porselvan (Thambi Ramaiah) works in the CBI as a lower-ranked officer reporting to Uththaman (Suresh Chandra Menon), a corrupt officer who holds the designation of joint director in the agency.

Once, Porselvan sees Uththaman accepting a bribe from a big shot whose premises are being raided by the CBI. He writes an anonymous letter to his superiors, informing them about Uththaman's activities. Uththaman sidesteps the problems caused by the anonymous letter and finds out that it is Porselvan who wrote it. He harbours a grudge against Porselvan and chooses to take it out on Iniyan when he appears for an interview to enter the agency. He ensures that Iniyan does not get the job.

Soon, Iniyan, frustrated by the corruption in society, chooses to fight fire with fire. He forms a team using a few people who are desperate for jobs and trains them to pretend to be officers from the investigating agency. The team then spots corrupt big shots and raids them. The money from the raids is spent on the team members and for welfare activities.

Just when Iniyan plans one last raid, the law catches up with him.

Although a remake, the film's plot does not strictly take the route of its Hindi counterpart. For instance, in the Hindi film, Aggarwal plays a naive, sincere teacher. In Thaanaa Serndha Koottam, Keerthi Suresh plays Madhu, an orphan who finds herself a new family through her helpful nature. That apart, Madhu, unknown to everybody else, is a small-time thief, who occasionally joins the gang when it goes on raids.

Similarly, in the original, Anupam Kher played the role of a main co-conspirator. In this film, that role is reprised by Ramya Krishnan who plays Jhansi Rani. Moreover, there was only one investigating officer in Special 26, played by Bajpayee, whereas in Thaanaa Serndha Koottam there are two — Karthik and Menon. While Karthik plays Kurinji Vendan, Menon plays Uththaman. 

The initial portions of the film and the climax, too, have been altered considerably. And this is where the problem lies. Special 26 was what it was because of its fantastic climax. It would have done the Thaanaa Serndha Koottam team a world of good if they had retained the climax. However, that is not to be.

While Vignesh Shivn's alterations in the beginning enhance the output, the manner in which the film's climax has been changed makes it come across as another redundant commercial film with a predictable ending. An unnecessary fight sequence and some punchlines aimed at bolstering the image of the hero in the climax bring down the class of the film drastically so that it comes across as just another poor remake.

Anirudh's music is one of the highlights of the film. Three of the songs have already emerged as hits and understandably so. The background score is just perfect. The film also has a number of gifted performances from its actors. Suriya, Keerthi Suresh, Ramya Krishnan, Nandha, Kalai Arasan and Sathyan play their parts convicingly and with flair. Yogi Babu, who appears for just a few minutes, steals the show with his mannerisms and swift retorts.

On the whole, if you are someone who hasn't watched Special 26, chances are you will like Thaanaa Serndha Koottam. However, if you have already enjoyed Special 26, then you will inevitable start making comparisons and find this film falling well short of expectation.