Set in Mumbai, Thuppakki focuses on terrorism, throws light on the operation of sleeper cells, and of how they are used by their handlers for creating havoc in the country.
The first teaming of Vijay-Murugadoss, it was a much anticipated film. And it does live up to its hype to a great extent, and keeps one entertained for the most part. An intelligent script, it however has its loopholes, glitches and mundane moments. At times it seems like the director has compromised trying to strike the right balance between the Vijay-factor ,and his own sensibility.
Vijay plays a Mumbai based intelligence officer, Jagdish who is home on a vacation. The actor looks suave, and performs with cool efficiency. The character has to speak a lot of Hindi, and vijay speaks it like a native speaker. The earlier scenes move at a fast pace, where Jagdish is persuaded by his parents and sisters to go bride hunting. Amusing are the encounters between Jagdish and Nisha (a chirpy gorgeous Kajal Agarwal).
And when Jagdish's senior steps in as the third angle, it's more laughs; Jairam making the most of his brief role. Pitching in his bit is Sathyan as a cop, and Jagdish's friend and support. The narration steps on serious territory when Jagdish witnesses a bomb blast in a school bus leading to many deaths. Enlisting a group of his former batchmates, he tracks down the sleeper cells and ferrets out their handler.
The film has a brilliant technical team to back it. But in this scenario Santosh Sivan hardly gets the chance to display his talent. Harris Jairaj is not at his best, with just a couple of hummable songs. The fights are ably choreographed. The way Jagdish and his group track down and eliminate the sleeper cells one by one, is intelligently executed. How he uses the sniffer dog to lead him to the hideout, has a touch of suspense and excitement. But there are the slips too. After the heavy build-up of Jagdish meeting a group of disabled army men and enlisting their help for the final operation, there is no follow up to it.
Also, its incomprehensible as to why Jagdish does not take his seniors into confidence and goes on as if was his own personal issue. Naive is his thinking that once he had eliminated the current sleeper cells and their controller, the country would be free from terrorism for the next decade.
The romantic episodes keep intruding in the latter part. The finale at a ship where Jagdish has his encounter with the mastermind (Jamwal of 'Billa 2'), is like one of those from any earlier films of the actor. Handsome hunk Vidyut Jamwal who'd matched Vijay step-for-step earlier, loses out to a weakly etched climax.
The Verdict: 'Thuppakki' may not have the greatest script going. But it keeps one entertained for the most part, and will not disappoint Vijay fans.
Cast- Vijay, Kajal Agarwal, Jairam, Vidyut Jamwal, Sathyan.
Running at: Nataraja theatre