Thondan (2017) stars Director Samuthirakani, Sunaina & Vikranth. Watching the trailer for the film it was obvious the film is going to be preachy and with social messages throughout. The film is all about Samuthirakani, who appears as Mahavishnu, an Ambulance Pilot who has voluntarily retired from Army to get the immense satisfaction of saving lives. During one first response trip, he crosses path with a local political heavyweight Namo Narayana, who is extremely corrupt and ruthless. How Samuthirakani handles Namo Narayana in an ahimsa fashion and gets him punished is Thondan.
The first half of the film feels like watching a documentary. The second half picks steam and races making the film tolerable. As it has become a fashion in his recent films, Samuthirakani speaks lengthy dialogues, in one scene he tests our patience by reciting 200+ names of native Bull breeds that lived in Tamil Nadu. The January 2017 Jallikattu movement in Tamil Nadu has become something that everyone wants to associate with and Samuthirakani is no exception. Throughout the film, he makes noise on various social issues ailing present day Tamil society but doesn’t offer a solution to any one of them. In Appa (2016), as a father Samuthirakani guides his adolescent son on how to speak to girls and handle those social encounters; that was well made. In Thondan the same style message is repeated, but this time to his friend who trolls his sister – here it feels artificial. To save his character’s awkward position he gets Sunaina to follow and propose to him. Mahavishnu and friends start a local social vigilant group to police to prevent the odd petty crimes that happen on a regular basis. Strangely the group never catches the culprit.
Soori and Thambi Ramaiah make guest appearances, thankfully as a Director Samuthirakani has got them to perform a bit differently from their cookie cutter roles.
Overall, Thondan is a lengthy film newsreel with some portions of laughter, few songs, car chases and boatloads of social messages.