Ivan Thanthiran: A Mediocre Entertainer That Rides on RJ Balaji’s Monologues
Movie Review by Trijai Nerthi (Rocheston Certified Movie Critic)
Two of RJ Balaji’s monologues from the film, based on the intelligence of engineering drop-outs went viral and drew students in hordes to the theatres. But if we look past these heroic dialogues that cater to current affairs, Ivan Thanthiran’s story packs in quite a few flaws as it speedily rushes past us with its racy pace.
Shakthi (Gautham Karthik) and Balaji (RJ Balaji) are engineering dropouts turned reverse engineers. Their infamous shop in Ritchie Street draws quite a regular client base as well. One day, they get called to install CCTV’s in Union HRD minister Devaraj’s (Super Subbarayan) house. Once they’re done, they are refused payment by the minister’s brother-in-law (Stunt Silva). This angers a righteous Shakthi who vows to take revenge by exposing the corrupt ways of the rouge minister and his team of goons. His street-smart retribution plan and the manner in which it reaches its pinnacle form the rest of the plot.
Imagine, an Ayan-esque backdrop merging with a Velaiyilla Pattathari resembling premise, what would this juxtaposition result in? A by-product known to us as Ivan Thanthiran. The film has likeable characteristics but it isn’t without visible flaws either. Director Kannan packages the film well despite its string budget but applying proper establishment and depth would’ve made it increasingly distinguishable.
Unlike K.V Anand’s Kavan, Ivan Thanthiran does not make the mistake of over-stuffing its plot. It chooses one aspect of corruption and follows it through till the end. For this clarity, the director and his team should be applauded. But in handling this corruption, the screenplay sometimes tends to go overboard. For instance, most of RJ Balaji’s comical inferences to current affairs strike a chord with the audiences but when even other characters begin to follow the same regime, it becomes too overpowering.
Another problem the film predominantly faces is a lack of proper establishment. We are told Shakthi is smart, sometimes we even notice the after effects of Shakthi’s trouble management but what we are never a witness to is proper establishment of Shakthi’s intelligence. A scene or two covering his execution style or providing us with extensive detailing could’ve increased the depth of this narrative.
For a film that claims to be smart, Ivan Thanthiran unnecessarily tries to insert clichés every once in awhile. For instance, we are happy to see an ambitious girl in Asha, only to have that image shattered by wantedly submissive notions. In fact, Shakthi and Asha’s love track seems misplaced in the film. Every now and then, Director Kannan inorganically inserts a song or a proposal, this interruption merely serves as an unwanted distraction.
After a successful Rangoon, Ivan Thanthiran gives Gautham Karthik many more reasons to shine. As Shakthi, he is street-smart and comical. RJ Balaji is the driving force of the film. His monologues and one-liners not only make people laugh; they also soothe the frustrations of an average Joe. Shraddha Srinath seems to be a miscast, maybe we would feel differently if her storyline was explored more.
The film’s editing is too fast to fathom. In some sequences, the fast-cuts never even give us enough time to process the story unraveling in front of our eyes. Most of the time, Cinematographer Prasanna Kumar’s visual storytelling is striking but during songs, the camera movement is rough and strenuous.
Music is an unnecessary element thrust into Ivan Thanthiran. Though average and peppy, Thaman’s songs only tend to distract you from the screenplay. Their untimely placement in the film demonstrates the director’s poor judgment.
Overall, Ivan Thanthiran has enough energy and wit to make for a good popcorn entertainer, but if you dig deeper, its flaws start to untangle.