Sathru movie review: Kathir makes an impressive cop in Naveen Nanjundan's predictable thriller

Sreedhar Pillai

Mar 09, 2019 12:51:45 IST


Sathru is a fast moving cat and mouse thriller between a cop and his enemies who've come to get him. It is the first commercial action film of actor Kathir, who is noted more for his subtle roles in award winning films like Kirumi, Vikram Vedha and Pariyerum Perumal.

Sathru movie review: Kathir makes an impressive cop in Naveen Nanjundans predictable thriller

A still from Kathir's Sathru. Screengrab from YouTube

Debutant director Naveen Nanjundan has made the film crisp and believable by setting the story in some realistic locations in North Chennai. Usually, mainstream Tamil stars love playing the larger-than-life Dirty Harry archetype. However, in Sathru, our hero is suspended for strictly implementing the law, which involves shooting down a child kidnapper.

The film opens with a stage drama being enacted on a North Madras street. The drama troupe says the highlight of the next day would be Soorasamharam, where Lord Velan will eliminate his enemies. The stage drama becomes some sort of a narrator in the film. The visuals then cut to a police station in the area where Kathiresan (Kathir), an honest police officer, is being berated by his superiors for being too violent while dealing with some criminals. We are told that he has been suspended twice earlier for upholding the law too rigidly.

At the same time, a deadly gang led by Prabha (Lagubaran), comprising youngsters in their early 20s has made kidnapping of children a big business. One day, a rich man’s kid is kidnapped by the gang and Kathiresan is asked by the father of the kid and the top cops to play a courier boy to deliver the bag containing the money. Kathiresan does things in his own way and not only rescues the kidnapped boy but also eliminates one of the gang members. His immediate bosses instead of rewarding him for his bravery, suspend him for three months.

Meanwhile, Prabha the gang leader who, is very protective about his boys whom he grew up with in a Madurai village, swears to hit back. In an encounter with Kathiresan who is virtually on his own now, two more of Prabha’s men are killed. Prabha, baying for revenge, plans to kill the family members of Kathiresan and succeeds to a certain extent as the cat and mouse game between the two turns ugly. Kathiresan, on the other hand, is left with just a day to tie-up the loose ends as the new police investigation team is bewildered by the body count.

The film moves rapidly in the first half and loses momentum post interval. The twists in the second half become predictable. There are far too many logical loopholes in the narrative. Why didn’t Kathiresan’s seniors step in when the body count increased? The love angle between Kathiresan and his girlfriend (Srushti Dange) is not established properly. There are traces of Gautham Menon's classic cop movie Khakka Khakka and Suseenthiran’s Naan Mahan Alla. The film seems to have been made on a shoestring budget. Surya Prasad’s background score keeps the tempo up, especially in the climax even as two songs from the film were trimmed to make it shorter.

Kathir is quite impressive as a cop, but it is Laguparan as the menacing gang leader who steals the show. The rest of the star cast have hardly anything to do. Sathru works to a large extent as Naveen Nanjuundan is able to tell a police story without going overboard. His hero is far more credible than the larger than life cops floating around in Kollywood.

Updated Date: Mar 09, 2019 13:19:08 IST