“Sathru” is directed by debutant Naveen Nanjundan and has Kathir (Pariyerum Perumal) in the lead. Kathir has a knack for selecting unique scripts. Further this film releases after the critically acclaimed “Pariyerum Perumal” and “Sigai” (Zee5 Originals). Well, he will not need another introduction after this film anyways.
Kathiresan (Kathir) is the Sub-Inspector of Royapetah police station. He has been in Police Dept for 2 years only but already gained a name for being straight forward and rough. He has been suspended twice too but that does not deter him from being tough to both his superiors and the rowdy elements. During a kidnapping episode, he ends up shooting one of the kidnapper and gets suspended. Meanwhile, this enrages the others in the gang who vouch to kill his family members one by one. This leads to a cat and mouse game between Kathiresan (along with two of his trusted cop friends) and the kidnapping gang lead by Prabhakaran (Laguparan).
The film has shades of several cop films like “Kaakha Kaakha”, “Singham” and “Vetaiyadu Velaiyadu”.But the presence of a relatively new actor and a casual treatment gives it more authenticity unlike the other films which were more glossy and stylish. It’s not easy to pull off an action cop role, especially if you are new to the industry. Moreover, it’s also important for the audience to accept the actor as a cop. Kathir manages this quiet convincingly. Infact the very first scene, we see the superior officer ridiculing him by asking “Nee enn periya hero va?”. This sets our expectations very clear. Kathir seems to be shifting his gear to next level as an hero but I hope he sticks to good scripts.
Laguparan as the young gang leader Prabha, shines throughout with his acting and dialogue delivery. Infact the entire movie is told from his perspective. This is indeed a turning point for the actor. The other boys who are part of the gang also play their part well. The chemistry between the gang is set very well in the initial scenes. Shrusti Dange as Kathir’s girlfriend has few scenes (thankfully there is no romantic portion at all except for just one scene). Background score and cinematography is apt for the genre.
On the negatives, the film has a very long second half. It could have ended very much in the beach bungalow but still goes on with another chase. At one point you start wondering when it will end. There is a boy character who helps Kathir with some information towards the end. However, there is no justification as to why he roams around with the boy everywhere. Also, it’s surprising that the cops don’t think about the CCTV angle at all throughout the film, especially when the gang roams around in the open without covering their face. The film has its flaws as well. In one scene, we see Prabha telling Kathir to give the bag with money to someone entering coach B2, but we are shown a sleeper class.
But these glitches don’t affect the overall film much. The director deserves a pat for not compromising the film with unwanted songs or heroism. It’s indeed a great debut from Naveen Nanjundan. Sathru is definitely another compelling cop story from Kollywood in the lines of “Kaakha Kaakha” or “Vetaiyadu Velaiyadu”.
Rating – 3.5/5