Like Rendu, Thagappansamy also seems like two separate
movies in its two halves. After starting off looking like a movie about the travails of a
drought-stricken village, it changes track completely post-intermission to turn into a movie
about bonded laborers and their savior. While the first half is realistic and absorbing, the second
half is so cinematic, outdated and silly that it completely negates the good things about the first
half and then some.
Kathivelu(Prashanth), a clown/dancer in the village of Paaraipatti, feeds the rest of the villagers
with the meager earnings he manages. When a drought hits the village, the villagers want to head out
but Kathirvelu, resolute about not leaving his village, decides to dig a well and hires a renowned
digger(Mahadevan) for the job. Love also blossoms between Kathirvelu and the digger's daughter(Pooja).
The digger is optimistic but things don't work out as expected. So Kathirvelu and the villagers head
to Rajasthan for a well-paying job but the job is not what they expected.
The film initially looks like a realistic film about the struggles of villagers whose land is hit by
drought. Their troubles evoke sympathy and the images and sequences remind us of films like KB's
Thanneer Thanneer. The characters and the setting are realistic and so their travails move us. We
understand their struggle to choose between staying in their own land hoping for rain and moving to a
new place hoping to earn a livelihood. There are some very sharp yet matter-of-fact lines that illustrate
The movie then appears to turn into one of those inspirational movies where villagers, having been let
down by the government, overcome their troubles on their own. Here again it maintains realism as the
villagers place their hope in Prashanth and the well-digger. We share their hopes and dreams and also
their sadness when those hopes are dashed.
After the sober and realistic proceedings, the route the movie takes after the villagers move to Rajasthan
comes as a very unpleasant surprise. The villagers only go North but the place they land up in makes it
seem like they have moved back in time to end up in the 60s or 70s! Vincent Asokan, in both his costume
and behavior, reminds us of the ever-popular zamindars in movies from those times and the whole
setup of the estate where no one can escape from is presented in a very unbelievable manner. Cliched
characters, like the villain's sister who develops a liking for the hero and a corrupt lady cop in cahoots
with the villain, make their appearance and there is some ill-suited, crude comedy as the movie takes one
wrong step after the other.
Unsurprisingly, Prashanth too transforms from the realistic hero of the first half to the familiar
larger-than-life hero who has to save the villagers, in the second half. The tale becomes quite
allegorical and the the similarities to the tale of Jesus(there is even a crucifixion-style
scene) are hard to miss.
Prashanth, still looking for that elusive hit, gives his everything to the role. He is soft and mellow
as the role deserves initially and then becomes driven as he tries to get the villagers out. Pooja
doesn't suit the role of the village belle but makes it easier to accept her with a good performance.
Namitha, in a small role, appears fully clothed and maybe because the focus in on her face, actually
looks cute. Vincent Asokan plays his role the way his dad did in the past but it irritating in this
time of quietly menacing villains.