Pathu Thala: Silambarasan TR Shines, But Is It Enough for an Action Thriller?

The  rivalry between a daring cop and a brutal gangster is a cliched one-line, but what makes it thrilling is how the team brings the audience closer to the characters’ world or how the cat & mouse events unfold.

Pathu Thala is crafted using the same one-line, and Pathu Thala, delivers a mixed bag of emotions, drama, and entertainment. Read on to find out if it’s worth the watch.

Plot Overview

Set against the backdrop of Kanyakumari, Pathu Thala revolves around an undercover agent, Guna (Gautham Karthik), who infiltrates a mafia group led by AGR (Silambarasan) to locate a missing Chief Minister (Santhosh Prathap). Though the genre demands tense and fast-paced moments, the movie gets diluted with dramatic rain shots, clichéd romantic sequences, and Thankachi paasam(sister-bro sentiments). Thankfully Director Obeli Krishna didn’t add any mother sentiments.

Comparisons to Mufti

Director Obeli Krishna claims that Pathu Thala is an adaptation, not a remake, of Mufti. However, the resemblance is striking. I believe he should watch the Hong Kong movies ‘Internal Affairs’ and ‘Departed, which will be perfect examples of adaptation. Here, I strongly feel like Pathu Thalla is a remake of The Mufti.

Character Sketch: White Pathu Thala

AGR and his team used to carry a copy of the Kamba Ramayananam, maybe because of the R in AGR, which stands for Ravanan. This is where the script disappointed me more; the script demands a grey or a black character, bad luck; Atman is in spiritual transformation, I guess.

AGR is a white character here, and the melodrama that whitening AGR brought spoiled the mood of the film in the second half. That Black to White character arc was a reminder of the real Ravana from the Ramayana. How Ravana gets the white shades in contemporary literature.

Performances

Silambarasan TR carries the entire film on his shoulders, supported by AR Rahman’s music.

Silambarasan T R in Pathu Thala

Gautham Karthik does a decent job, but his characterization could have been more powerful in the second half.

Director Krishna has always ensured the female characters in his movies are powerful, be it Sillinu, Kadhal, or Nedunchaalai, but I was curious how he was going to portray Priya Bhavani & Anu Sithara here.

Priya Bhavani Shankar gets a substantial role in the first half but fades away as a mere romantic interest later on. Anu Sithara has nothing to do much, and even she couldn’t deliver the emotional output that a few scenes demand.

Priya Bhavani Shankar in Pathu Thala

Gautham Menon started with a heavy aura, but, in the climax, he just vanished in the shadow of STR’s terrific performances.

Technical Aspects

The film’s technical elements, such as AR Rahman’s music and Farooq’s cinematography, skillfully elevate the flat moments. For instance, the scene where Guna enters AGR’s world, accompanied by Rahman’s background music, is particularly thrilling. Similarly, the interval block is a high octane moment for fans. With A R Rahman music, Farooq’s visuals and STR-Gautam Karthick charismatic performances are just like a blended cocktail.

Audience Appeal & Box office Potential

Pathu Thala has the ingredients for a family entertainer, but it may disappoint those expecting a rampage. Marketed as a “neo-noir action thriller” or an Atman STR Sambhavam (Rampage), the film is actually a semi-action thriller with a significant dose of family drama.

Gautham Karthick and STR

With a budget of ₹50 crore and running at around 400 screens, Pathu Thala has the potential to give a hat-trick to STR. The Satellite Rights (ZEE Tamil) of ₹12.50 crore and OTT rights (Amazon Prime) of ₹13 crore add to its appeal.

Conclusion

During the trailer and audio launch of Ponniyin Selvan 2, where Simbu appeared as the chief guest, he was greeted with enthusiastic cheers of “Pathu Thala” from thousands of fans. It’s quite rare to witness fans attending an audio launch to show support for a movie and cheering for another movie. Simbu enjoys such a loyal fan following; however, it seems he has yet to find the perfect script that can truly harness his star power. 

Pathu Thala offers a decent watch for STR fans & family audiences but falls short of being a gripping action thriller. Thus Obeli Krishna may fail to satisfy STR’s hunger for a heavy blockbuster.

For more reviews

John Wick: Chapter 4 – A Thrilling Conclusion to a Masterful Franchise

Baba Yaga is back with a bang! John Wick’s latest outing is an incredibly violent and impossibly stylish masterpiece that is sure to leave action fans breathless.

John Wick Chapter Four Review
John Wick Chapter 4 Poster

But le me answer some questions before I jump to John Wick: 4.

What makes the John Wick so popular despite repeating the same concept?

Firstly, John Wick is the modern-day gladiator. The character is a masterful assassin who, like a gladiator, is fighting for his survival. There is a sense of finality to each film, as Wick has a specific goal in mind, and once it’s achieved, he can finally rest. This creates a heightened sense of tension and urgency that keeps audiences on the edge of their seats.

Another reason for the franchise’s success is the character and world-building. Director Chad Stahelski, a former stuntman for Keanu Reeves on The Matrix, knows how to craft a compelling story and character. Stahelski uses wide shots, long takes, and simple transitions of shots to make the action scenes feel more visceral and realistic.

Moreover, Stahelski’s choreography is a blend of multiple combat styles like Judo, Jujitsu throws, intense shooting, and combat driving. The action sequences are a work of art, with each move carefully thought out to create maximum impact. The use of practical effects and stunt work makes the action feel more authentic and thrilling.

If you haven’t watched the John Wick franchise yet, you’re missing out on one of the best action film series of all time.

Why should you watch John Wick 4, if it’s all about actions?

Lastly, John Wick 4 is a must-watch for fans of the franchise. While it may not be for everyone as it focuses purely on delivering an action-packed experience, it’s the conclusion of the story. John Wick 1 was about love, John Wick 2 was about an unbreakable vow, John Wick 3 was about survival, and John Wick 4 is about his freedom. It’s the final chapter in a thrilling and emotional story that audiences have invested in over the years.

How does Chapter 4 compare to the previous John Wick movies in terms of action, storytelling, and overall quality?

Will John Wick finally find redemption or be consumed by his violent past in Chapter 4?

The plot of John Wick: Chapter 4 follows the titular character, John Wick, as he seeks his freedom from the High Table. To handle John’s situation, the High Table unleashes the sadistic Marquis Vincent de Gramont, who hires and/or coerces several highly skilled assassins – including John’s old blind friend, Caine – to track him down. Meanwhile, John travels across the world, from New York to Paris to Japan to Berlin, seeking out the most powerful players in the underworld. As Caine chases John, it adds an emotional layer to their chase. The film ends with the quote “Loving Husband,” and some new characters leaving fans with a sense of anticipation for the next chapter.

The Action Sequences and Characters: Relentless and Innovative, with Emotional Depth

Donnie Yen as Caine and Keanu Reeves: John Wick Chapter 4
Donnie Yen as Caine: John Wick Chapter 4

While the film is heavily focused on action and violence, it also has moments of emotional depth. The theme of consequences and the importance of friendship and family are explored throughout the film, adding a layer of depth to the characters and their motivations. Donnie Yen’s entry as the blind assassin Caine adds emotional heft to the already impressive fights. All the new characters like Mr.Nobody, Akira, Caine elevates the emotional depth and number of dead bodies in the film simultaneously.

One potential drawback of the film is its lengthy runtime of about two hours and twenty nine minutes, which may not be suitable for non-action fans. However, for those who love mind-boggling action sequences, this film is a visual treat.

Conclusion: John Wick: Chapter 4 – A Thrilling Addition to the Franchise

Director Chad Stahelski keeps viewers engrossed with impeccable action sequences and philosophical one-liners. The film features three major action sequences set in three different countries, each with a unique theme. The Berlin sequence is a must-watch for its stylish actions.

In conclusion, John Wick: Chapter 4 is a thrilling addition to the franchise. With its captivating action sequences, emotional depth, and impressive cast, fans will not be disappointed, & Fans shouldn’t miss this treat, you may regret.

Purusha Pretham: A Noirish Crime-Comedy with Layers

Anyone familiar with Krishand’s Aavasayooham or other flicks can easily predict what’s waiting for them. Don’t be fooled by his titles; his film titles are not direct.

Purusha Pretham Poster
Purusha Pretham poster

He always chooses a heavy subject and will deliver it in a fun and thrilling way.  Krishand, I believe, is a fan of superimposing dichotomies, such as war and peace or love and hate.This is his way of leaving his imprint on his works. Purusha Pretham is no different.

Purusha Pretham is a noirish crime comedy that is stuffed with numerous layers of Indian politics and social evils that still prevail including discriminations, domestic violence, exploitations and bureaucratic red-tapism.

When it comes to the plot, Krishand always crafts a central character, with confidence being an essential factor. SI Sebastian, aka Super Sebastian, is renowned for his bravery and is feared by many in Purusha Pretham.Sebastian’s reputation is tested when a lady named Susan comes to his station and wants to check whether an unidentified body is her husband’s or not.

Sebastian’s Macho-chauvinism and some Rashomon effects(another pattern in Krishand’s movies) are what make the first half of the movie. In the second half you will witness the fragility of the same macho elements and the shades of femme fatale.

Some of the frames in PP remind me of Nanpakal Nerathu Mayakkam and Pudhupettai, and those cinematic frameworks reflect Krishand’s outside the box making. Here everything is connected, be it an Orange juice, a bottle, a Rose flower, an underwritten character, everything serves a purpose and that elevates the experience of the viewer.

Darshana stated in a recent interview, “Usually, you have a master shot and then you go for a person’s close-up or over-the-shoulder shots and you are familiar with all of that.”But in Purusha Pretham, it wasn’t.” This is pretty evident in the film. All the characters are at the margins of the frame leaving a space besides (no spoiler 🙂 )

There are no stars (except Darshana), dramatic stunts, or slapstick comedy in the film. But director Krishand incorporated all the tiny elements that will entertain every category of viewers. There are parts of the film where silence would have been appropriate, but he still included some haunting background music and songs by Ajmal Hasbullah.There are some raps that replicate the contemporary style of mallu trends that will elevate the mood of the film, and that’s the beauty of this dark noir crime comedy.

I truly admire Krishand’s research for this film and the way he incorporated some cliches in Malayalam films when it comes to police officers (maybe he was mocking). In his previous film, there is a scene where the character Vava suddenly gets a lot of fish; similar cliched elements to excite the common man can be found in Purusha Pretham as well. Especially, in the climax event of ‘Super’ Sebastian.

Purusha pretham Climax scene
A scene from Purusha Pretham credits: SonyLIv

Krishand and writer Ajith Haridas deserve praise for their nuanced portrayal of police characters in the movie. Instead of painting them all with a khaki shade, Krishand added separate character sketches for each police officer, which made them stand out from one another. Furthermore, the way he humanizes the police force is another entertaining factor in the movie. Sanju Shivram, Jeo Baby, Rahul Rajagopal, and Zhinz Shan all bring a smile to your face with their delightful performances.

Alexander Prashanth and veteran actor Jagadeesh were the two people who stole the show. The way Prashanth delivered ‘The Shades of Sebastian’ was impeccable. At some point, I felt like this character was written specifically for him. Jagadeesh’s portrayal of Dileep was an extension of his character from ‘Rorschach’.

In one word, this is a movie for every set of audience. This is an ideal material for a post-Friday film (a film that will be popular upon its release). I hope next time Krishand will deliver a Friday film since this is going to be the talk of the town soon.

Rekha: Jithin Issac, Vincy Aloshious & Minimalism

Jithin Issac Thomas’ new malayalam film Rekha is about Rekha and Arjun, Arjun sneaks into Rekha’s house one night to spend time with her, but the next day, he is missing. The film explores how that one night changes everything for Rekha. Are you intrigued yet?

Lyz Lenz quote related to the theme of Malayalam Movie Rekha
Image credits: instagram/I_Filmiholic

In the beginning if you think you are getting a feel-good film, think again, It’s a Jithin Issac Film. He makes us uneasy from the very start of the film.

I love the way Jithin scripted its confrontation act. A casual question about a pet dog asked during a sweet moment between the couple and a casual answer turns everything upside down. It is an intelligently written scene.

The star of the film is undoubtedly Vincy Aloshious, who portrays the titular tomboyish woman perfectly. It’s truly one of her best performances yet.

The visual and sound design of the movie is immersive, despite the minimalist approach. The director of photography, Abraham Joseph, who previously worked on “Kumari,” does an excellent job of creating an atmosphere filled with grit and menace.

As with Jithin’s other films, “Rekha” delves into politics. The movie sheds light on how people are labelled based on their origin(Character: Savitha Teacher or even Rekha), and the way Jithin incorporates Dalit politics into his movies is fascinating.

Remember if you compare this with a revenge drama like the Kill Bill/ 22 FK space I would say it’s a half-baked attempt because of the several pointless extended scenes of violence.

In conclusion, if you’re looking for an engaging movie with a captivating storyline, “Rekha” is a great choice. Don’t miss out on this must-watch film that showcases the talents of Jithin Issac Thomas and Vincy Aloshious in its most minimalistic appraoch.

Read more about Jithin Issac Thomas here.