Nenjil Thunivirunthal movie review: This Suseenthiran action thriller lacks focus

Hemanth Kumar

Nov,12 2017 13:39:20 IST


A few hours after watching Suseenthiran’s bilingual film Nenjil Thunivirunthal, which also released in Telugu as C/O Surya, as I sat down wondering what would someone, who’s adept at creating memes, say about this particular film, it struck me that a popular meme already exists. It’s called “Expectation Vs Reality”, or if you want to dig deeper, Nenjil Thunivirunthal fits even the “What I think I do…what my family thinks I do…What my boss thinks I do” meme.

You get the drift, right? It’s a film where the characters themselves so seriously that you begin to feel bad for them because they are trapped in a narrative which doesn’t quite do justice to the stakes it builds for itself.

Poster for Nenjil Thunivirunthal

Poster for Nenjil Thunivirunthal

The film has a lot of similarities with that of Suseenthiran’s earlier work Naan Mahaan Alla, which released back in 2010. Sundeep Kishan steps into the shoes of a happy-go-lucky character played by Karthi in Naan Mahaan Alla; Mehreen replaces Kajal; both films are about a protagonist whose family is in danger. But where Nenjil Thunivirunthal differs vastly from its predecessor is in its convoluted approach to unfold the story. Despite its short run time, Suseenthiran doesn’t really give us a reason why we should root for the characters in the film. All we are told is that two different worlds — one inhabited by Sundeep Kishan, Vikranth, their friends and family, and the other led by gangsters — are about to collide at some point. It’s a solid premise on paper, but it never adds up on screen.

In one scene, Surya’s (Sundeep Kishan) mother, played by Tulasi, yells at him that if he doesn’t come home soon, he’ll see her dead body. For a moment, it feels like something has gone terribly wrong. However, by the time Suseenthiran reveals what triggered such a reaction from Surya’s mother, you are left scratching your head. She loses her mind after seeing a photograph of her daughter flirting with Mahesh (Vikranth), Surya’s best friend. Why did she have to react so strongly? She doesn’t even have a strong reason to hate someone to this extent, and on the other hand, we are left to connect the dots. This is a consistent problem throughout the film, and the reason behind why something happens and its consequences are all jumbled up.

Sundeep Kishan and Vikranth do a decent job in their respective roles, but the film takes its own sweet time to push them to the brink. Instead, we are shown a bunch of incidents to establish their friendship, Surya’s own love story with Janani, played by Mehreen, Mahesh’s love story with Surya’s sister, Surya-Mahesh’s bromance with their friends. By the time, Suseenthiran brings in Harish Uthaman’s villainous role to the forefront, it feels like an aeon has passed. By the time the actual plot is revealed, it feels like you have aged more than the film’s run-time.

Nenjil Thunivirunthal is let down by its writing and it reflects in how the film is staged. Thankfully, some of the action sequences are gripping enough, but we never get a sense that the film could be truly worthy of its genre.

There’s another thing which I couldn’t stop thinking of, towards in the end — did the writers hold on to the script just like Surya does whenever he’s in a fight? Or should they have let loose to help the story break free, and become bigger than what it is? Either way, it feels like a challenge to watch Nenjil Thunivirunthal. It achieves very little for all the hullabaloo it creates.

Updated Date: Nov 12, 2017 13:39 PM