The film Thaanaa Serndha Koottam is about a group of youngsters who have been marginalized by a society steeped in unemployment, corruption and bribery, and focuses on the unique ways they decide to hit back against the system.
The premise of this thriller movie is quite fitting in the present day circumstances. The story, coupled with director Vignesh Shivan artistically blending in the bells and whistles that makes a commercial film click, makes for a rather entertaining watch.
Thaanaa Serndha Koottam is a remake of the critically acclaimed 2013 Bollywood flick 'Special 26,' starring Akshay Kumar. Iniyan, the lead character in the film is portrayed by actor Suriya. This character epitomizes a whole host of poverty-ridden, yet educated youth, who, due to their inability to bribe officials keep missing out on jobs they deserve.
Iniyan and his friends lose faith in an oppressive society where money is the one and only qualification required. They decide to get their own back in a distinctive manner, executing the perfect eye for an eye strategy by wearing the mask of an institution steeped in corruption to carry out the robbery of a lifetime. The movie follows the paths that lead the protagonists to carry out this crime and then delves into what happened after.
Suriya's sensational performance is the highlight of the movie. As Iniyan, Suriya has shown off his versatility, with his handling of comedy, action, romance and drama all one better than the other. Also noteworthy is Ramya Krishnan's outstanding show, almost on par with Surya and clearly outperforming the female lead. While the portrayal of Sivagami Devi in Bahubali'has gone down as her career defining role, the character of Jhansi Rani which Ramya plays in Thana Serntha Kootam at times brings back memories of her best acting from that Telugu blockbuster. Meanwhile, Keerthi Suresh has done well to stay within her limitations and put in a solid showing as the leading lady.
The movie deserves praise for recreating the feel of 1987. The background sets, buildings and vintage cars shown in the film are all a testament to the attention to detail of the crew. Meanwhile, the cinematography has succeeded in capturing the natural beauty of the Chettinad style buildings from the Karakudi region.
The background score has been done by Anirudh Ravichandran, who shot to national fame thanks to the hit song 'Why this Kolaveri di'. While all the songs in Thana Serntha Kootam are worth a listen, the 'Sodakku Pattu' number, much like 'Why this Kolaveri', had gone viral on social media months before the release of the film.
Having been translated to Tamil from Hindi, the narrative does not quite match up to the original, particularly as Special 26 was a standout. Understandably, Thana Serntha Kootam does have some of the grating, rough edges of a remake which are particularly visible for those who have seen the original. Still, this movie which runs for two hours and 10 minutes is definitely worth the watch, be it for the casual movie-goer or for the fans of superstar Suriya.