Lately, it’s almost impossible to find a Tamil film without comedy. Even if someone makes a full length action film, you’re forced to laugh at a few places for reasons even the filmmaker can’t explain. But not all filmmakers succeed in using comedy to their strength, but there are exceptions like Nalan Kumarasamy, Karthik Subbaraj, who know exactly how to use it in their films without diluting the core subject.
Debutant Caarthick Raju deserves to be included that list for proving how comedy when used the way it’s supposed to be used can make a lot of difference to the story.
Caarthick’s “Thirudan Police” is the story about a father (a police constable) and son (Vishwa, a wastrel), their relationship, whose importance the latter only realizes quite late in life. It’s also a thriller, about the hunt for the killer of the father, who gets killed while on duty.
The initial moments between the father and son are quite boring, something we’ve regularly seen in Tamil cinema. There’s a strict, disciplinarian father, who is abhorred by his son and never understood. The father is authoritative because he doesn’t want his son to do the same mistakes he did while growing up, which are the lack of proper education and the irresponsible attitude towards life. In a touching scene, explaining why he’s tough on the son, the father tells his wife that he wants to see his son receiving salutes and not vice versa.
When Vishwa slips into the shoes of his father, literally, after he’s given his job, he starts missing him and realises all that he did for the family. In another beautiful scene, the hero’s friend, who is tired of listening to him yap about his dead father, asks him why he only talks about his dad at night and never during the day. Vishwa, innocently, replies that he’s seen his father come home usually at night. In another scene, Vishwa refuses to booze from money earned through bribery because his father had always been loyal.
The tinge of comedy in these scenes guarantees entertainment. These moments are emotional for Vishwa, who is finally getting to know his father, but for audiences it would’ve gotten highly melodramatic if not for the role of Bala Saravanan. Bala is like a viewer, who reacts to every emotional outburst in the story with his funny lines (in an irritated tone like how audiences would react), so aptly written, which he delivers nonchalantly. This totally works in the favour of the film and even in the most emotional scene; you’re laughing your guts out. But Caarthick’s intent to focus on the father-son relationship (even in the absence of the former) doesn’t fade out.
Caarthick takes a dig at his own story through some of his characters. The last 20 minutes of the film, which are owned by John Vijay and Rajendran, are the best moments one can look forward to. It’s also the best twist one could expect in a revenge drama, which are usually about settling score. It’s in the climax portion, Thirudan Police, shows how comedy can do wonders in a story if one knows how to use it.
The story also makes us realise the hardship of a policeman’s job, especially of those in the lower ranks. Naren gets a meaty role as the police commissioner, which he plays to the hilt. Dinesh, for about 15 minutes in the beginning, acts with the hangover of “Cuckoo”, his last film in which he played a blind character. We get some great performances from John Vijay and Rajendran even in roles that are mostly caricaturish.
“Thirudan Police” is your average revenge drama that gets salvaged by some great comedy, the kind audiences don’t mind paying for.