If a director’s good intentions alone were measure of a film’s box-office success, Thee Nagar would be a blockbuster. The film’s director Thirumalai packs the movie with not one but four tracks, atleast three of which try to convey a positive message to the viewers. But the multiple tracks themselves prove to be the film’s undoing since they make the film seem aimless and none of them are strong enough to actually get the message across.
‘Yamaha’ Murugan(Karan), who was student chairman when he was a college student, firmly believes that politics, rowdies and policemen should not enter the premises of any college and is willing to do whatever is needed to keep them out. He is still unemployed and fed up with standing in line at the employment office, he sets up his own teastall and becomes successful. But he gets on the bad side of Murthy(Shanmugarajan), a policeman, who begins to create trouble for Murugan. Meanwhile seeds of romance are sowed in the hearts of Murugan and Nadhiya(Udayatara), who gains admission in Murugan’s college thanks to his personal recommendation. But her parents have other plans for her.
The director is obviously confused about the kind of film he wants Thee Nagar to be. Initially starting off as a message-oriented film about the youth becoming successful by starting their own business, it turns into a story about a young man clashing with a powerful policeman and then finally gets back into message mode as it talks about students entering politics in order to cleanse it. Apart from these tracks, there is also the rich girl-poor boy romance, that ends up dealing with the role appearances play in love. The issues are all fairly substantial but the problem is that none of the tracks are tackled with the depth the issues deserve. So when the story changes tracks, it appears to be because the director has run out of ideas on the previous issue rather than because he has a new,legitimate issue to present.
Apart from the superficiality and abruptness of the movie’s various tracks, the other big problem is that none of them seem fresh since all of them remind us of other, much better movies. Karan’s success with his teastall reminds us of every other Cheran or Vikraman film; his clash with Shanmugarajan seems like a retread of Dhill ; and the segment dealing with students in politics brings back memories of Aaydha Ezhuthu and Ji . So Thee Nagar ends up looking like a bad mish-mash of ideas and sequences from several different films.
Among the tracks, the clash between Karan and Shanmugarajan would probably count as the best. Inspite of several films having tackled a similar story of a common man going against someone in power, it still manages to strike a chord. Some of the ways Shanmugarajan harasses Karan make him a pretty nasty guy and Karan is good enough to make us root for him. The romance between Karan and Udayatara would definitely come last though. Too predictable and silly, the movie would have been better off without it (and the added bonus would’ve been that we wouldn’t have had to endure all those duets!).
Karan, who had reduced considerably to seem like a suitable hero in Karuppusamy Kuthagaithaarar, seems to have beefed up a bit again. He has had a good success record as a hero recently but unlike his previous ventures like Kokki and Karuppusamy Kuthagaithaarar, he tries to play a regular Tamil cinema hero here and isn’t as successful. Udayatara is pretty ordinary and her role doesn’t provide her much scope for emoting either. Shanmugarajan has had enough experience playing the corrupt cop and does a good job but doesn’t bring anything new to the role. A couple of the songs sound good but the songs are definitely speedbreakers in the film.
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