Suttu Pidikka Utharavu Movie Review: A clever climax saves this thriller
An interesting addition to the thrillers that seem to be frequenting our theatres
There’s something about director Ramprakash Rayappa and ticking time bombs, it seems. His first film, Tamizhukku En Ondrai Azhuthavum, dealt with how restoring the phone lines in a city has the potential to set off a series of events that ultimately leads to a bomb blast. Though he took a small detour with the quirky yawnfest, Pokkiri Raja, in between, he’s now back with potential large scale destruction in Suttu Pidikka Utharavu. He throws in a group of deadly bank robbers, an insensitive, intrusive media, a gang of terrorists, and a series of coincidences.
Cast: Mysskin, Vikranth, Susienthiran, Athulya Ravi
Director: Ramprakash Rayappa
A gang of four heavily-armed bank robbers, lead by Vikranth and Susienthiran, escape with a lot of cash after injuring a lot of people and killing a few. Among the injured is Police Commissioner Ibrahim (Mysskin making a one-note role very... Mysskinesque), who gets admitted to a hospital, from where he coordinates the search for these robbers who are hiding in Coimbatore. The narrow bylanes of the Slum Clearance Board-type locality in Coimbatore make for excellent locations for chase sequences and shootouts. However, the question does arise on how expert police marksmen keep coming a cropper every time they take aim at the fleeing robbers. Quite a few such questions keep cropping up. What is the need for the violence unleashed by the robbers, especially Selva (a menacing Susienthiran) towards their chasers and civilians? Why is Ashok (Vikranth doing his best in a neither-here-nor-there role) provided with a sympathetic backstory that obviously is more about a kid who needs to undergo an expensive medical procedure? Why is there a forced comedy sidetrack involving terrorists, who, of course, have beards and kohl-lined eyes? Why does a potentially interesting sidetrack involving Athulya Ravi, become nothing? How long will we keep portraying the media in the same way?
While these questions mount, the neatly written and well-executed climax comes in time to redeem Suttu Pidikka Utharavu. The only downside of the final act is that the director plays his cards too close to his chest as the plot takes too long to unravel. However, it does answer almost all of the questions I had, even if a bit too late.
The film, with all its action blocks, parkour sequences, hostage situations, and a ticking time bomb, does not feel as hurried, as Sujith Sarang's impressive cinematography tries to get us believing. In fact, in retrospect, quite a few scenes seem unnecessary. Just like the cinematography, Jakes Bejoy's inconsistent background score tries its best too, but again, not to particularly flattering results.
While Suttu Pidikka Utharavu might not be ingenious, it is still a reasonable addition to the thriller films that are bombarding Tamil cinema. It also served as a reminder of why I had liked Ramprakash's debut film. His heart is in the right place, and the effort to stand out even while dealing with cliches is refreshing. In this film, he has put all his money on the final act, and I suppose it’s fairly vindicated, given that a large part of the pleasure of watching thrillers is being made to look a fool for attempting to guess the ending. On that front, the director ensures that Suttu Pidikka Utharavu, a film hurtling towards ruin, is cleverly redeemed as a bumpy, but satisfying ride.