Natpe Thunai is directed by a debutante Parthiban Desingu and produced by Sundar C. This is Aadhi (Hip Hop Tamizha’s) second film as a hero.
The story unfolds in Pondicherry. Prabhakaran (Aadhi) is keen to travel to France and get settled there. Meanwhile, he meets Deepa (Anagha) and falls in love with her. He stalks her for some-time and follows her to her hockey practice sessions. He also helps her get selected in one tournament. However, the sports minister has plans to lease out the hockey ground to some corporate. The hockey coach Abdul (Harish Uthaman) and his team try to take back the ground from the clutches of the politicians and corporates.
Aadhi has improved in his acting and dialogue delivery but still has lot of work to do. Karu Palaniappan is a revelation as the heinous minister Arichandaran. The casual manner in which he portrays the negative character is very new and interesting. Harish Uthaman has got a decent role and makes use of it. We also have several youtube personalities in small roles, with Eruma Saani Vijay and Bijili Ramesh having an extended one. The heroine Anagha (as Deepa) is used to fill up the first half with some romantic scenes. Thankfully, it’s not overdone. At the same time some scenes are enjoyable like the one in the police station.
The film works largely because it’s presented in a simple template. There are some genuine funny moments and also mass sequences elevating the hero supported by good BGM and songs. However, there are flaws in the script and the films looks amateurish at several places. Hip Hop Tamizha’s first film was based on music and it sailed through irrespective of the poor technical aspects. But this time, being a sports film they (including the director and Sundar C) should have spent more on the technical aspects. The overall production value is very low standard. The poor quality of cinematography (in several scenes you can even see the spit / dust particles flying around) is another big disappointment. Lip sync is completely out of place in several scenes.
The last 30 minutes of the film depends on the hockey match, it would have helped if it was choreographed better. It does have interesting conflicts and a sarcastic commentary, but does not give you the thrills and the grand experience which you would have experienced in films like Lagaan or Chennai28 (am not comparing Chak De India since that was set in international stage). Also, the other players (atleast the key ones) are not given much details. The film depends on the friendship angle, which is stressed in the climax hockey match as well. But we are not shown any scenes to substantiate the friendship between the players (except the clichéd flashback between Prabha and his friend).
Disregarding these flaws, Parthiban Desingu has indeed given us an above-average entertainer based on hockey with some interesting mass sequences elevating the hero. If you are just looking for some popcorn entertainment, Natpe Thunai will satisfy you for sure.
Rating – 2.75/5 (0.5 points reduced for the technical and production values)