The least you expect the less disappointed you will be – that’s how a Pandiraj film works. It’ll have all the commercial requirements injected into it, a larger-than-life hero, rural backdrop loaded with family sentiments, a bubbly Tamil heroine, and D. Imman. Etharakkum Thunindhavan makes no mistake and follows Pandiraj’s usual instincts along with a relevant social angle.
Kannabiran is a lawyer and an apple of his family’s eyes who’s righteous and always there for his people. The plot thickens when he meets Inba, an influential thug who traps women into relationships and later harasses them with intimate videos taken without their knowledge. I believe you must’ve guessed the rest of the plot, yes the hero single-handedly takes law in hands to save womanhood for a better future. Violence against women is Kollywood’s 2nd most favorite subject after Vivasayam (farming) as it holds the power to attract a large flock of women and families into theatres. Etharakkum Thunindhavan is a bloated third outing in Pandiraj Family Universe which is nothing but a reminiscence of his own previous works. The entire first half works due to the jolly mood and an energetic Suriya leading the show. There’s Intro Song, filler romance, unconditional amma paasam, and a villain who roams in neat costumes and produces psycho expressions (because that makes him look scary). Unlike NVP, KKS Etharkkum Thunindhavan entertains initially with moments that tickle our bones and an extremely adorable Priyanka Mohan’s endearing chemistry with Suriya.
But as the film enters its circle of emotions it weakens and ends up abrupt and preachy. Pandiraj’s intention is to be applauded but the spoon-feeding message lacks any value thus tests our patience. We neither feel their pain nor their helplessness, all I could see was a hero who’s there in all scenes to ensure safety and challenge the villain. The cuts seem vague with scenes that often make no sense at all. The final act which is said to be the most exhilarating by the filmmaker is laughably bad and elucidation of some stretched ideas.
Suriya takes an honest approach to a half-cooked attempt and elevates the film in every possible way. Pandiraj mixes all those star elements for the fans to rejoice and churns a proper hero out of him. It’s his aura that holds the film firmly to the ground. Priyanka is the vivacious, chubby girl who transforms into an emotionally challenged heroine in the last hour. Vinay who’s still in the Doctor zone appears threatening but his character falls short of expectation. Sadly none of the supporting artists question the fault of the screenplay. D. Imman continues to irritate while his BGM turns surprisingly good. Visuals by Rathnavelu are superior, maintaining the colorful vibe throughout the film.
Balancing both the commercial stuff and social angle should be done cautiously and Pandiraj fumbles in both. ET might satisfy the fans who were dying to see their star on screen after 2.5 years. And for the rest, this is just another middling drama made to set the cash registers ringing.
Review By ©Rahul Babu