Tamil Reviews

Suttu Pidikka Utharavu Review: A Thriller That Works In Parts

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Director: Ramprakash Rayappa

Cast: Vikranth, Athulya Ravi, Suseenthiran

Ramprakash Rayappa’s Suttu Pidikka Utharavu literally hits the ground running. The opening sequence is an adrenaline-pumping chaos conjured out of a bank robbery followed by a mall chase (there is a bank in a mall, yeah!) followed by a basement parking lot chase followed by a shootout. Ramprakash films the whole portion with an eye for pandemonium. Over the opening credits, we hear the mild but busy sounds of a bank – call for tokens and instructions bandied about. As the credits come to a close, it begins with an innocuous seeming verbal argument, the volumes rise, and it becomes a mix-up. Someone is pushed a little too hard and a glass door breaks as two people fly out. Security guards are no match for the four suspects who do things that make them look like they are more than just your garden variety bank robbers. They casually toss people off the railings; women are pushed flat onto moving elevators and harmless people on staircases get caught in the rush like being whisked away by the ocean’s current. Those at a safe distance are filming the scene on their phones and gaining admission into Whatsapp University. We move to the parking lot and it is a frantic exploration of space, people running around, the police finally getting into the action. It doesn’t work. A machine gun comes out. Only when it is rendered moot does hand to hand combat begin when police officer Ibrahim (Mysskin) gets injured.

We can sense Ramprakash’s intent. An action thriller at breakneck speed where your loyalties can be divided from one second to the next. It is a bit of a challenge when you see the gang – among them Ashok (Vikranth) and Selva (Suseenthiran) trigger happy and absolutely savage with both policemen and civilians. The violence is unbridled – though not gory – but then the film suddenly veers into Ashok’s back story and the gang’s original intent. A child makes an appearance in the hospital, in need of an expensive operation. We connect the dots. Or before we do, Ramprakash does some emotional gymnastics to make us feel for these thieves who have already injured tens and murdered a few. The action shifts to the RS Puram neighbourhood (the film is set in Coimbatore) where the gang – again literally – crash lands.

The police manage to construct a perimeter but now the residents are thrown into discord. The film becomes claustrophobic – thin lanes and cul-de-sacs are exploited for some action. A constable falls and squeezes himself between two walls. A terrorist sleeper cell is introduced that adds to the confusion.

At its best, Suttu Piddika Utharavu never lags except for some ill-advised attempts at comedy with two incompetent journalists and Bhuvana (Athulya), a local resident, who exudes the kind of fearlessness that would shock the commandos lodged at various points on the terraces to sniff out the gangsters. Ramprakash Rayappa wants to switch our loyalties – he keeps the police force’s power unchecked even as the gangsters remain just out of their reach by one way or another. At one-point, Ibrahim suggests killing an intruding media person and calling it collateral damage. Mysskin is quintessentially Mysskin in these portions – barking on doctors and subordinates alike as if he is possessed. There are some inscrutable passages along the way – the media being thoroughly absent except for the three supposedly funny musketeers – at one point Bhuvana films a guy threatening to kill a kid. She even manages different angles and zooms. A constable trying to procrastinate his way out of the situation in the terrorist hideout is played for laughs with appropriate background score that eggs us to laugh. We snicker.

Then comes Ramprakash Rayyappa’s prestige of a move. It works in isolation, but you spend a little over two minutes dwelling on it, it cracks the film wide open. Suddenly the violence in the initial portions doesn’t sit well. This is all too humongous and elaborate for ends that only seemingly justify the means. It figures that the whole film is founded upon this twist. It is even admirable that a large part of the first half works. But despite its good parts, Suttu Pidikka Utharavu, like its literal meaning, does leave a bad taste in the mouth.

*****

The Suttu Pidikka Utharavu review is a Silverscreen original article. It was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the film. Silverscreen.in and its writers do not have any commercial relationship with movies that are reviewed on the site.

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