I was intrigued by the trailer and went in with low expectations because I assumed this film was primarily geared towards Ajith Kumar fans and I was right. I went into this film expecting to be entertained, and while I was amused, certain aspects prevented me from loving it.
WHAT I LIKE
Ajith Kumar is fantastic in this film. It was entertaining to see him dance like Michael Jackson, come up with clever remarks, and beat people up. While he appears to be indestructible, especially near the climax when he is stabbed and shot numerous times yet shakes it off as if nothing happened, the film does show the protagonists being harmed and in pain. Ajith Kumar fans would be pleased and delighted, and I thought it was cool.
Manju Warrier is a badass, and she contributes more to this film than Huma Qureshi did in Ajith Kumar’s last film, Valimai. Manju Warrier, who plays Kanmani, provides back-end assistance, conveys information to Ajith Kumar’s character, Dark Devil, and is a phenomenally competent ally. She is a woman of few words though.
The humour was excellent. This film has a fantastic sense of humour, and I found myself laughing out loud at the comedy in the second half, especially in scenes involving Ajith Kumar, John Kokken, and Mahanadi Shankar. I also enjoyed Samuthirakani’s performance and what he does in the film.
I enjoyed how Dark Devil analyses and plans ahead so well that he almost appears to be a soothsayer. The way Dark Devil and Kanmani planned each and every stage of the robbery so meticulously that they never encountered anything that hampered their efforts is astonishing and, in some ways, entertaining.
WHAT I DISLIKE
The pacing is one of the film’s biggest shortcomings. The scenes fly at such a frenetic rate that I felt like I was watching the movie at 2x speed. It took some time for me to get acclimated to the pace. The director doesn’t let any of the scenes breathe and swiftly rushes on to the next shot. There is no time to let the emotional weight settle in.
The film’s tone also dramatically alters in the second half, when they start presenting one story after another, which feels incongruous with the film’s grim nature. It also feels weird when all of the criticism is delivered by the film’s protagonist, a contract robber.
There is no depth to any of the characters. Ajith Kumar’s character has no personal incentive to carry out the robbery, making it difficult to cheer for him in the end when it’s simply another job for him.
Thunivu is an interesting movie with the potential to be a lot more. There are excellent parts in the movie to make it a worthwhile watch, especially for Ajith Kumar fans, but the pacing and lack of any personal motivation for the protagonist to undertake the robbery makes Thunivu, another casual Ajith Kumar film.