A riveting story!
Pathu Thala (Tamil)
- Cast: Silambarasan TR, Gautham Karthik, Priya Bhavani Shankar, Gautham Vasudev Menon, Kalaiyarasan, Teejay Arunasalamm, Anu Sithara
- Director: Obeli N Krishna
- Producers: Jayantilal Gada and KEGnanavelraja
- Music: AR Rahman
- Runtime: 2 hours 32 minutes
Director Obeli N Krishna delivers an absorbing political-gangster thriller in the form of Pathu Thala that keeps you engaged from start to finish.
The film has a neat plotline, well-fleshed-out characters, excellent casting, masterful performances and refreshing music from AR Rahman as its strengths.
Pathu Thala starts on a spicy note with Chief Minister Arun Mozhi (Santhosh Prathap) and his deputy Naanjilaar Gunasekaran (Gautham Vasudev Menon) trying to outsmart one another and gain control of the government.
Naanjilaar, who has the support of 14 MLAs, never misses an opportunity to remind the CM that it is he who calls the shots.
Although the deputy chief minister is a smarter politician, he has been unable to dislodge Arun Mozhi and become the CM because of AGR — short for AG Ravanan (Silambarasan).
AGR, a mining tycoon and a gangster, is loved as much by the masses as he is feared and respected by the powerful.
He decides who holds the power in the state. Incidentally, Arun Mozhi is AGR’s brother-in-law and Naanjilaar hates him all the more for it.
It is under these circumstances that one day, the conflict between the CM and the deputy CM reaches a flashpoint.
Naanjilaar tells the chief minister to withdraw a health scheme that has already been launched because he hasn’t received the entire kickback of ₹500 crores promised to him by the firm that stands to benefit from the scheme.
Also Read: Nani’s Dasara Telugu movie review
In a bid to save his government, the chief minister promises that Nanjilaar will get the entire kickback before dawn and slips out through the backdoor of his residence without following security protocol to negotiate a deal. But he goes missing.
The state machinery goes into a frenzy and the case is transferred to the CBI. In the probe, they find that Naanjilaar isn’t behind the kidnapping of the CM but AGR.
They begin their efforts to gather evidence against AGR. They also seek the help of Sakthivel (Gautham Karthik), a police officer who is undercover for over a year, in the hope of infiltrating AGR’s close circle. What happens next is what Pathu Thala is all about.
In Cinemas Now 💥@StudioGreen2 @PenMovies #Atman @SilambarasanTR @Gautham_Karthik @arrahman @nameis_krishna @sayyeshaa @NehaGnanavel @Dhananjayang @SonyMusicSouth @digitallynow pic.twitter.com/iXZYMhFquW
— Studio Green (@StudioGreen2) March 31, 2023
The powerful performances of the lead actors make the film a pleasure to watch.
Actor-director Gautham Vasudev Menon steals the show as deputy chief minister Naanjilaar. So does Simbu as AGR and Gautham Karthik as Sakthivel alias Guna.
Gautham Menon proves that he can deliver not just classy films as a director but outstanding performances as an actor as well.
His arrogance, gait, tone and the language he uses to make his point all make you believe that he is indeed the powerful deputy CM that he claims to be.
Simbu seems to have consciously curtailed his urge to deliver cheesy punch lines in this film, making it a delight to watch. He delivers a mighty impressive performance with his measured and dignified portrayal of AGR.
Also Read: Gurudev Hoysala movie review
Gautham Karthik proves yet again what a bundle of talent he is, effortlessly slipping into the roles of a gangster and an undercover cop.
He shines in both roles but manages to make an impression more as the smart, sharp gangster who is always a step ahead of all those trying to put him down.
Outstanding technical support
Pathu Thala has your attention from the word “go” and never lets you take your eyes off the screen for even a minute.
The plot is solid and well-thought-out. What makes it entertaining is how it is narrated.
Director Obeli N Krishna takes an adequate effort to leave no questions unanswered in the minds of the viewers.
The story is narrated seamlessly, keeping audiences wondering all the while as to what will happen next.
On the technical front, AR Rahman delivers a mesmerising background score to enhance the impact of the film.
Cinematographer Farook J Basha’s visuals are outstanding. Basha proves that he is a master of aerial shots, often using them to show the magnitude of a sequence or entity.
For instance, he uses an aerial shot to show the number of lorries plying in a quarry, the quarry’s size and in the process, the wealth of AGR.
The only weakness
What sticks out as a sore thumb in this otherwise impressive film are some of the fight sequences, especially those that appear towards the end.
Like most other run-of-the-mill movies, Pathu Thala, too, has exaggerated fight sequences that have a single guy taking on scores of villains all at the same time and emerging victorious.
In particular, the climax fight is a little hard to accept.
Also Read: Director Hemanth G Nair on his film Higuita
Director Obeli N Krishna shows great promise because he has had the guts to accord priority to the story of Pathu Thala over any particular star in the cast.
The fact that the hero of the story appears in the film only towards the fag end of the first half is testimony to this.
Simply put, the director makes an impact with this neat engaging thriller that is as much about gangsters as it is about politicians and politics.
(Views expressed are personal.)