Review: Thugs (***)

Had Bridha made better use of Cinematographer Priyesh Gurusamy’s outstanding visuals, this film could have gone on to become a masterpiece.

Thugs review pic

Film: Thugs
Director: Brindha
Cast: Hridhu Haroon, Anaswara Rajan, Bobby Simha, Munishkanth, R K Suresh, Thenappan, Arun and Aravind among others
Cinematographer: Priyesh Gurusamy
Music director : Sam C. S.
Runtime: 122 mins
Rating: ***

‘Thugs’ is a reasonably thrilling story that revolves around a group of prisoners looking to break out of a prison.

Sethu (Hridhu Haroon), a youngster working as an accountant to Annachi (P L Thenappan), gets a life term for looking to loot a sum of Rs 1.75 crore from his boss.

Annachi, who heads a fearsome gang of thugs, is someone who prefers to take the law into his own hands rather than wait for the courts to deliver justice.

So, he looks to recover the money that Sethu has stolen from him using his thugs. However, as luck would have it, the Kerala police arrest Sethu before Annachi’s thugs can get him to spill the details of where he has stashed the stolen money and kill him.

Even in jail, Sethu is not safe as Annachi wields considerable influence in police circles. At one point, he runs out of patience and decides to finish the youngster off inside the prison itself.

Even as these developments happen on the one hand, Sethu, along with a group of other inmates, plans to escape from the high security prison.

Does Sethu manage to break out of jail and more importantly, Annachi’s clutches? ‘Thugs’ gives you the answers to these questions and more.

Director Brinda has an interesting story to tell. However, the pace at which she narrates the story is not uniform.

There are portions that move at a blistering pace and then there are those other parts that actually bring the intensity down. Sadly, the latter is more in number.

One sequence that works brilliantly in the film is its climax. It in fact makes up for most other glitches in the film, and rescues the film from being described as a big disappointment.

The work done by two departments — music and cinematography — lift the film to another level altogether.

Cinematographer Priyesh Gurusamy’s outstanding visuals really set the mood for the narration. Had Bridha made better use of his visuals, this film could have gone on to become a masterpiece.

Sam C S, who has earned a reputation for delivering exceptional background scores, does not disappoint in this film as well. His brilliant background score for Thugs not only amplifies the emotion, it also plays a key part in helping the film retain the attention of the audiences.

Now, on to the drawbacks. There are two big problems with the narration. First, certain important questions that arise in the minds of viewers about certain developments that take place in the story are not addressed.

Next, certain scenes are exaggerated so much that the film loses its credibility.

Take for instance a sequence in which the convicts are shown digging a tunnel. The film does not bother to showcase how the convicts manage to dispose off the debris that is generated as a result of digging.

That apart, the tunnel, dug by prisoners with very little equipment and without putting in place a system for keeping the roof from caving in, is so big that it has enough space for more than one individual to comfortably crawl through it! In fact, there is so much space that there is even a fight sequence inside the tunnel!

Hridhu Haroon, who makes his debut with this film, shows promise. He impresses in fight and romantic sequences but is found wanting in sequences that demand emotional intensity.

Anaswara Rajan, who plays the female lead in the film, makes her mark. Using her expressive eyes skillfully, the actress, who plays a speech-impaired girl in the film, exudes charm right from the first moment she appears on screen. Needless to say, she leaves you impressed by the time the film ends.

Bobby Simha, a National Award winner, comes up with yet another significant performance in this film.

Munishkanth, who plays convict Marudhu, does a neat job as well. His jokes provide the only relief in what otherwise is a grim tale.

R K Suresh delivers what is expected of him as Arockia Doss, the ruthless cop heading the prison facility.