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A son steps into his father's shoes, has to win a bloody war before he becomes the leader.

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Thalaivaa Review - Rehashed Godfather


Vijay's Thalaivaa is Rehashed Godfather

First Day First Show Review

The authority of a man, who runs a parallel government in Mumbai, is challenged. His son rises to face his enemies. This is the one-liner for Bachchan's Sarkar(Hindi). Without changing a word, this applies precisely for Vijay's Thalaivaa as well. Thalaivaa has also liberally borrowed a number of memorable scenes from evergreen classics such as Nayagan, Devar Magan released more than a couple of decades ago.


Breezy First Half

Thalaivaa has breezy first half with an entertaining mix of comedy, love, dance, and fun with delightful visuals and song picturizations. Vijay looks charming and dances gracefully. Vijay's comedy scenes with Santhanam is fantastic as usual. Santhanam brings the house down when he says "I am waiting". Sam Anderson's cameo and Santhanam calling him a "Poor Star" and how such folks emerge as sleeper cells are highlights that keep the first half light and engaging. Vijay and Amala Paul chemistry works well. Amala Paul is expressive and looks refreshing. Stylish Costume designs for all lead characters deserve a special mention.


The story doesn't make any efforts to inch forward until the last few minutes of the first half. Sathyaraj underplays in his limited screen time and yet plays a pivotal role in the movie. The twist towards the end of first half is probably the most engaging moments of the movie.


Vijay's Effortless Dancing 

The songs during the first half is picturized well. The best visualized song of the movie is the theme music when Vijay and Amala Paul with a fractured leg practices for a dance competition. The theme song is shot poetically as the lead pair impresses with their fluid dance moves. Another well-picturized song is the "Yaar Indha Saalai Oram". "Tamil Pasanga" set in Sydney gets a bit repetitive due to dull-locations and repetitive shots but salvaged by creative choreography(e.g., salute step) and Vijay's subtle dance movements enacting the essence of the lyrics. Vijay dances effortlessly and has sung "Vaangana Vanakkangna" song like a true professional. Watch out for GV Prakash's friendly appearance for a few seconds as he shakes his leg sporting his signature grin. As one would expect, "Thalapathy Thalapathy" is a montage song showing the growth of the don. Even though the concept and situations in this song are cliched, it does help the story move forward.


Second half falls flat

The second half is when most of the weaknesses pop-up. Vijay's underplay of his don role, limited screen time for Santhanam, and lack of sparking chemistry with Amala Paul brings the pace down. The hackneyed plot and lack of novelty between the villain and Vijay's source of contention further drags the movie. Even the supposedly racy episode involving Vijay and the Villain trying to get hold off the missing video tape feels contrived. The casting choice and lack of a formidable villain doesn't help the cause either.


The camera work by Nirav Shah and technical department during the second half continue to take the clean and standoffish approach which makes it impersonal. A bit more rawness could have helped. Finally, wish the movie's running time of 2 hours 50 minutes had been reduced by 30 minutes.


Director Vijay continues to be openly inspired by classics

It is a surprise why Director Vijay choose to delve on such a familiar script without making much efforts to infuse freshness in scenes nor treatment. The story is precisely what one would have expected to see on the screen after watching the trailer. Director Vijay doesn't deviate a bit from the beaten path. Many of the familiar scenes from classics have been faithfully reproduced without changing the scenes, settings nor the shot angles. The dialogues show some sparks intermittently. However, Sathyaraj's oft-repeated philosophy around yielding a weapon can destroy or protect is mouthed around 4 times during the course of the movie. 


Bottomline: Watch it for Breezy First Half

Rating : 

Watch Thalaivaa only for its breezy first half.

Vijay underplays his part, dances like a charm. Santhanam strikes again with his impeccable one-liners. But, director Vijay lets you down with his hackneyed plot and scenes.

by - MovieCrow on 09/Aug/2013

Rating (2.5/5) Full Review


A different Vijay offering with enough impactful scenes, which takes its time to build up.

Technically the film is a real feat, with the kind of camera work & fast paced editing by Nirav Shah and Anthony, respectively, which capture the raw nature of the non-urbanized sections of Mumbai.

by - Behindwoods.com

Rating (2.5/5)

Largely grim story.

This film is a good attempt to rehash the mafia tales of yore. And Mumbai has been used more effectively here than in most Bollywood movies. However, it's failing is the length.

by - Times Of India

Rating (3/5)

A leader rises to eventually fall

A.L. Vijay has completely gone haywire since Madraspattinam, which still remains a path-breaking film in his career. In his effort to make films with superstars such as Vikram and Vijay, he only ends up churning half-baked products.

by - DNA

Rating (2.5/5)

Must watch for Vijay fans.

AL Vijay knows what Illayathalapathy Vijay fans expect from him. The director has churned out a story that suits Vijay's image.

by - One India

Rating (3/5)

Thalaiva - In a League of its own

Director Vijay takes his own sweet time in making Vijay the Thalaivaa and forces us to sit through the romantic angle which gets stretched for too long and the momentum looses making the audience feel whether they are watching a rom com

by - IndiaGlitz.com

Rating (3/5)

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