Garudan review: Soori soars high, yet again, as a hero

The script of 'Garudan' doesn't prioritise its star cast; rather, it lets the characters themselves take centre stage.

ByS Subhakeerthana

Published:May 31, 2024

RS Durai Senthilkumar's directorial Garudan

Garudan (Tamil)

31-05-2024, Drama, 2 hours 14 minutes U/A
  • Main Cast:Soori, Unni Mukundan, Sasikumar, Samuthirakani, R V Udhayakumar, Vadivukkarasi, Mime Gopi, Sshivada, Roshni Haripriyan, Revathi Sharma and Brigida Saga
  • Director:RS Durai Senthilkumar
  • Producer:K Kumar
  • Music Director:Yuvan Shankar Raja
  • Cinematography:Arthur A Wilson



Garudan follows the tale of two inseparable friends—Aadhi (Sasikumar) and Karuna (Malayalam actor Unni Mukundan)—accompanied by Sokkan (Soori), the latter’s trusted aide.

A compelling flashback shows how young Sokkan befriends young Karuna, eventually becoming a loyal and significant part of his household.

Cut to the present. Sokkan is fiercely protective of Karuna, and the story hinges on what happens when this trust is betrayed.

Everything seems fine until Thangapandi (RV Udhayakumar), a corrupt politician and government minister, attempts to drive a wedge between the three.

What follows is a gripping tale of revenge, rage, and intense action sequences.

Characters take centre stage

The cast of Garudan in a still from the film

The cast of ‘Garudan’. (Supplied)

Garudan delves into themes of friendship, loyalty, and the courage required to stand up for justice, even when it means confronting those who are close to you.

A cop contemplates resignation. A minister schemes to seize a large tract of temple land. A member of a formerly affluent family struggles to get by. A couple deals with an unplanned pregnancy.

These events set the stage for the audience to witness the collapse of the bond among the three lead characters.

RS Durai Senthilkumar intricately constructs a plot that introduces several characters entangled in the pursuit of wealth and power. Consequently, the amount of information presented may feel overwhelming, but given the context, it’s understandable.

However, in another film, this complexity could have been disastrous.

The script of Garudan doesn’t prioritise its star cast; rather, it lets the characters themselves take centre stage.

The film unfolds on a large canvas—every frame is crowded with actors whose on-screen chemistry is vital to the narrative.

Garudan has a brilliant supporting cast—Sshivada, Samuthirakani, Revathi Sharma, Mime Gopi, Vadivukkarasi, Brigida Saga, George Maryan, and so on.

Each character is crafted to draw the spotlight before gracefully yielding to the next. This dynamic becomes even more pronounced after the interval, propelling the film forward and creating a more captivating and immersive experience.

Garudan could have gone wrong in so many places, but it accomplishes what it sets out to do.

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Perfect casting

In Garudan, the actors are flawlessly cast, exceeding all expectations in their respective roles.

Sasikumar exudes a magnetic presence that holds the film together.

Though his lines lack novelty, Sasikumar’s deadpan expressions and sincerity bring authenticity to his dialogues, convincing the audience that he speaks from genuine experience.

Sasikumar flawlessly embodies the businessman character, capturing every subtlety of the role, while Unni Mukundan, portraying Karuna, masterfully conveys the character’s hunger for power and wealth.

Soori is the star

Soori in a still from Garudan

Soori in ‘Garudan’. (Supplied)

However, the standout performance belongs to Soori. The actor shines as Sokkan. The innocence and vulnerability portrayed by him stand out as the film’s biggest strength.

Soori’s performance is striking, especially in instances where he opts for silence, yet manages to convey the entire truth with breathtaking intensity when interrogated by Unni Mukundan’s character.

It’s not possible for every hero to seamlessly transition into a comedic role. As a supporting comedian growing into a formidable hero, Soori’s journey is inspiring. I admire Soori’s commitment to making himself a hero.

According to legend, Garuda is unparalleled, possessing infinite qualities. He is typically depicted as a vigilant protector with the ability to travel swiftly and as a foe to all serpents.

Similarly, Sokkan is Karuna’s unwavering guardian, faithfully by his side wherever he goes. If anyone dares to challenge Karuna, they will discover that Sokkan is equally resolute in his commitment to protect him. Soori embodies all the attributes of Garuda, living up to the film’s title.

Garudan demonstrates that Soori is here to stay as a leading man. This wasn’t expected, but he is electric in action sequences.

Propelled by brutal force and stained with blood, the action sequences stand out for their sheer rawness and visceral appeal. All credit to Mahesh Mathew’s stunning stunt choreography.

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Predictable climax

Despite the strengths outlined, Garudan does have its shortcomings. Certain scenes fall into predictability, a common trait in commercial outings.

The story meanders in about half a dozen directions before you connect all the threads, as the climax gets predictable. Only the hero wins at the end of the day, right? And, Garudan is no exception.

Moreover, the depiction of the destiny of two close friends in Garudan can be considered cliché. Nevertheless, the film manages to alleviate this concern by skillfully employing Sokkan as a tactical tool, guiding the characters’ journeys more authentically.

Technical crafts

Soori shines as Sokkan in Garudan

Soori shines as Sokkan in ‘Garudan’. (Supplied)

Arthur A Wilson’s camera work makes sure it pushes the story to the forefront. His cinematography makes use of every angle to focus on the characters, while Pradeep E Ragav’s editing is felt in the relatively short duration of the film.

Yuvan Shankar Raja’s music is unobtrusive most times. But he delivers a banger in the interval block.

While stories with messages and tales of romance are dime a dozen in Tamil cinema, few manage to get the mix right.

Durai Senthilkumar manages to infuse enough humour and heart into Garudan to make it work.

Final take

Certainly, the Soori-starrer is among the top contenders for the best of the year thus far.

(Views expressed here are personal.)