The best thing about this super-cop action drama that has built its base on strong social constructs, pulling in multiple emotive factors that has driven Tamil cinema for eons, and playing a game of jigsaw puzzle with them, is its tempo-rising, heroics-introducing ‘therrrrrri’. And then, Vijay.
The story opens in lush green Kerala, Ithithanam in Kottayam to be exact, that is home to Joseph Vijay Kuruvilla (Vijay) and his button-eyed smarty-pants daughter Nivedita. In comes trouble, and the mask that Vijay has on starts to come off. Past forward, and we collide with his electric and illustrious career as a District Commissioner.
Also read: 'Theri' movie: Audience review
The drama has little novelty; the rhetoric of the good cop whose world has toppled over, retrieving to an ordinary life. But the sparks are within him, ready for an outburst, all at the right time.
As a drama, Theri lacks depth; the story plays it much too safe, and centralizes all its energy on Vijay. Every element in the story is arranged in a way to make him the very desirable cop, father, son, husband, son-in-law, et al. Predictability hovers above the heads like clouds that are about to burst, with a shabby screenplay playing bad weather. But amid all this, Vijay picks his cues, executing them neatly. The actor has all the space he needs to play up his clowning around-yet-task-master cop who rules half the city.
The ladies are far less convincing, what-with their minuscule roles, but baby Nainika does offer some respite with her witty lines. Raadhika Sarathkumar and Rajendran have engaging cameos as opposed to Prabhu who got as takeaway, a still smaller role. Cinematography by George C. Williams pitches the shots to good aesthetic effects.
While sparks do fly, as Vijay tears the screen open, skating through villainous grounds, leaving a trail of his charm, the Theri team could turn around and take a look at the disarray this reluctant fire-cracker left behind.