HEADLINES:
June 19 2019
‘Sathru’ review: A cop story well done
11 March 2019

A well-written fast-paced revenge drama that scores high

Pacing is everything in a happenings-in-a-single-day kind of a tale. Like Shatru, which revolves around sub-inspector Kathiresan (Kathir) and what happens to him when enemies who he has no clue about come to get him.

The director sets things up well in the first few scenes itself – while we have a close knit group that indulges in kidnapping and robbery on one hand, there’s Kathir, a strict, straight-forward police officer and his family in the other. Kathir gets a lot of character build-up initially – people in the force talk about how he goes about his job in the right manner despite pressure from higher-ups. There’s some blaring background music. But if you think this would be a regular commercial cop story, you're mistaken.

Genre: Thriller
  • Cast: Kathir, Srushti Dange, Ponvannan, Lagubaran
  • Storyline: A sub-inspector has to face the consequences for being tough

Shatru travels pretty much in the same zone of the Suriya-starrer Kaakha Kaakha – a cop has to defend his family against all odds. But Shatru is still different – and refreshingly so. Kathir cannot use the entire police force to focus on his case (he’s suspended because of an action he took in a crime scene without permission from his higher-ups). And he has no idea who the villains are, and how many of them are out there to get him and his family. Shatru picks up pace within the first few scenes and doesn’t let go till the very end.

There are many pleasant surprises in Shatru – the pacing is apt, the action choreography is well done and the background music keeps you hooked to the on-screen proceedings. Director Naveen Nanjundan gets all these in place, besides putting together a cast that delivers with solid performances. Kathir might lack the physicality of the cop he’s made out to be by his cop colleagues, but scores with his intensity. The action of the antagonists, especially Prabhakaran (Lagubaran), keeps you at the edge-of-the-seat most of the time. Even small parts shine – there’s a young child playing a small-time thief; his screen time is short, but he still manages to impress.

Except including a dance drama that feels out of place, director Naveen’s screenplay shines through. The fact that he didn’t feel the need to weave in a full-fledged romance, songs or a flashback into this tight script is surely a sign of the birth of a good filmmaker.

 

 

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