In Thaana Serndha Koottam, Suriya gets dialogues tailored to fit. Like the ones that are written for mass heroes who take to the big screen to settle scores. Or mostly, to pander to a fan base that revels in this reinforced imaging of their hero. Fiery lines characterise the actor, tempered with just the right amount of passion to send the fans into a frenzy. Somewhere, in a theatre of choice, the actor would perhaps soak in (do actors even do that these days?) this validation to self. What better way to know if you are doing it right with the masses (the critics be damned)?
Over the years, ‘mass’ is a word that I’ve come to love – completely homegrown, it would be interesting to trace the etymology of it especially within the context that it’s often employed. ‘Mass’ perfectly encapsulates the spirit of the streets; ‘massy’, the adjective, apart from referring to a heavyweight, would mean something with a distinct local flavour, with the potential to appeal to all classes. And thus, actors, heroes develop identities based on their ‘massy metre’. Suriya, perhaps, is someplace mid-scale. He can play the sophisticate if he wants to, quite like Ajith, and also has a massive female following; he can do a Perazhagan and Pithamagan with relative ease, work up enough aggression as the cop Durai Singham, and also convincingly play a romantic.
In Thaana Serndha Koottam, Suriya’s (Iniyan) height is made mention of. Brave, I think. Until, it becomes material for a punchy one-liner – in the earlier scene, Suriya is derided for not being tall and so, towards the end, director Vignesh ShiVn plays on ‘uyaram‘ and ‘uyarvu‘: You do not have to grow in height, he writes, you need to grow in stature. And quick as a thought, the camera dips, and perhaps for the first time in the entire film, low-angle shots make an appearance. Suriya towers over everyone else.
Suriya also picks up some street flavour in TSK, becomes a Robin Hood who has been wronged. There are the big, bad bureaucrats, the corrupt system, the works. But what makes TSK entertaining is Vignesh ShivN’s deft hand, deliberately adding a touch of humour in the mix. Consider this: Thambi Ramiah, who works as an office help at the CBI nurtures ambitions of having his son strut around as an officer. Entering the CBI though, requires monetary clout. Suriya comes back home after having been insulted at the interview. Why bother now, the interviewer had said, when your father dies, you’ll get his job. Thambi Ramiah suspects as much, locks himself up in a room. Suriya frantically bangs on the door assuming the worst when his father walks out, coolly sizes his son up, and says: “Unaku velai kidaikalena naan edhuku savanum [Why must I die if you can’t find work]? It’s a hilarious moment; the director nimbly steers clear of messy emotions.
In TSK, Suriya, Ramya Krishnan, Senthil – a motley bunch – play pretend-CBI. They raid the rich and curiously, just supplement their needs. Keerthy Suresh plays a spunky Brahmin woman (ShivN’s dialogues are quite funny in places) who falls in love with Suriya, and that’s his cue to call her ‘mami’. Somehow, that kind of casteism – and related slurs – are looked upon with an indulgent eye, as is the blatant name-calling and portrayal of said community. At every opportunity, Suriya emphasises the title – “Idhu thaana serndha kootam” – even though the opposite is true sometimes. Karthik Muthuraman appears as the CBI officer, whom everyone fears, and the climax belongs to Suriya and him – but it’s quite easy to guess who would emerge the winner.
The Thaana Serndha Kootam review is a Silverscreen original article. It was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the movie. Silverscreen.in and its writers do not have any commercial relationship with movies that are reviewed on the site.