Thupparivaalan (துப்பறிவாளன்) starring Vishal and Directed by Mysskin, is a crime thriller executed well. In the opening credits roll we see reference to Sherlock Holmes and other vintage detective stories, preparing us to the fact this is going to be a shameless imitation of films before it. Nevertheless, it was enjoyable except for the running time of 3 hours – a talented editor seems to be in short supply in Kollywood. There are NO songs in the film, a rarity in Kollywood movies.
Vishal is a private detective Kaniyan Poongundran, named after the famed Sangam era Tamil poet. He is assisted by his friend and roommate Manohar, played by Prasanna. The relationship between the two is shown as the classic Sherlock-Dr.Watson, with the super-observant Kaniyan explaining everything to Manohar on asking. The interior of the house where the duo lives are clearly inspired by Victorian-era London architecture. In the first scene, we see Kaniyan shouting in anger that he is not getting good cases to solve, serving well to establish his character – that he is a detective who will take up even a simple case like that of a school boy’s pet dog getting killed, if it is challenging enough for him. Thalaivasal Vijay’s guest appearance scene was just to establish the Tamil hero credentials for Kaniyan. In the first twenty minutes, Kaniyan speaks few words and reacts to everything in action, in a bit stylish way, that sets the tone for rest of the film; and here background music by Arrol Corelli really scores – kudos to him. Much before interval break itself, we get to see the villain and could guess the broad contours of the crime – that’s a letdown for a detective movie; there are no unexpected twists or turns. There are many scenes which are hyped-up for no apparent reason and so does a lot of blood getting spilt unnecessarily.
Every actor had played their individual roles aptly –Vinay Rai as the bad guy, K.Bhagyaraj as the old man, Andrea Jeremiah though had a limited role had done the action scenes well. Director Mysskin has made few compromises with allowing few action scenes and punch dialogues just to satisfy fans of Vishal, but they can be overlooked for a good (lengthy) screenplay.
The last dialogue (something on killing a dog) spoken by the villain was a great way to end the film, if the brevity and impact of it had guided rest of the filmmaking, Thupparivaalan would’ve gone places.