Taanakkaran film assessment: A promising cop drama headlined by a restrained Vikram Prabhu


Director Tamizh, as an alternative of resorting to the standard Tamil cop drama cliches, is eager on critiquing the police system by a sober story set in a coaching camp

Director Tamizh, as an alternative of resorting to the standard Tamil cop drama cliches, is eager on critiquing the police system by a sober story set in a coaching camp

When a cat within the monastery saved making noises throughout the night meditation, the Zen grasp requested his disciples to tether it to a wall. They started doing this each night to forestall the cat’s disturbances. This follow continued, even after the grasp handed on. Then, the cat handed on. However it was changed with one other cat to proceed the follow.

This well-liked Zen story illustrates the absurdity that may consequence from following orders unquestioned. There’s a cop in Taanakkaran who’s very like the ritual cat. He stands guard over a tree inside a police campus as a result of, years in the past, when the tree was a sapling, a superior cop had ordered one in all his subordinates to protect it in opposition to goats. Not like the cat story, right here, the folks concerned are conscious of the absurdity. But they by no means problem the established order, as they’re part of a system that abhors questioning and appreciates obedience.

Tamizh, who has written and directed the movie (his first), earlier than beginning the story, provides a quick explainer concerning the Indian police system, which was created by the colonial regime to serve its pursuits, however has continued to be hierarchical, and typically even inhumane. Tamil filmmakers normally resort to creating their cops as testosterone-charged, trigger-happy vigilantes, who’re resistant to legal guidelines of physics and human rights violations . Tamizh, as an alternative of resorting to this good-cop, bad-cop sport, is eager on critiquing the system by a sober story set in a police coaching centre.

The coaching camp setting itself is new to Tamil cinema cops, whom we normally see outdoor or in police stations. The camp, positioned in Pozhilaru, Tirunelveli, in 1998, is a personality in itself. It has a barren parade floor, parched underneath the solar, and not using a smidgen of shade. The trainees’ rooms pale compared with prisons. Their bogs might be claustrophobic. And, the ratio of trainees to bogs is about 70:1.

The services on the camp, nonetheless, aren’t as unforgiving as one in all its coaching officers, Eshwaramurthy (performed by Lal). He’s somebody who likes self-discipline… or slightly, who likes to self-discipline. Although he’s not probably the most superior officer, he has a status for being ruthless. Arivu (Vikram Prabhu), one of many trainees, questions his authority (albeit unintentionally). This units up the movie’s battle effectively: the face of the system that hates being questioned versus the one who questions.


Director: Tamizh

Forged: Vikram Prabhu, Lal, MS Bhaskar, Anjali Nair, and extra

Runtime: 2 hr 20 min

Tamizh, nonetheless, doesn’t make Arivu a typical mass hero. Not like different business cop flicks in Tamil, the heroism of Arivu doesn’t lie in his charisma however in his perseverance. There are not any screaming punchlines, simply silent resilience. We additionally get a stable flashback that explains his motivation to endure.

Vikram Prabhu suits this position effectively. The one bits that have been jarring with respect to his character have been a few scenes when the character turns into a tad melodramatic. The romantic angle with Anjali Nair, who performs an officer on the camp, doesn’t lead wherever and will have been finished away with. Actually, a mushy music kills the gritty temper of the extraordinary camp setting. The informal body-shaming of one other character was additionally a buzzkill in a film that strives to debate what is correct.  

Regardless of having a sole protagonist, the secondary characters get ample display house as effectively. And, a lot of the actors do a superb job, particularly MS Bhaskar as a cop who has been wronged by the system however has to stay subservient to it. 

Lal’s character is extra attention-grabbing. He seems a bit unidimensional originally however because the movie progresses, we realise he too however a cog within the wheel. Ultimately, Arivu realises he isn’t battling a person however a century-old system. Even the ckimatic sense of triumph is subdued in Tamizh’s promising debut. The hero can’t defeat the system however he could make it a bit higher.

‘Taanakkaran’ is streaming on Disney+ Hotstar


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