Thugs Movie Review: Prison-break dramas aren’t something that we get to witness often in Tamil cinema. Though we understand that we are rooting for prisoners’ undertrail and that most of the clap-worthy moments are against the law, the chaos that we get to witness on screen gives us a sort of adrenaline rush. Thugs, despite its flaws, stays true to this genre and manages to keep the audience hooked throughout.
The initial set-up takes time, and we find it difficult to get accustomed to their world. But when it happens, normal scenes turn into moments that you could expect from a mass entertainer.
In the very first scene, we are introduced to Sethu (Hridhu Haroon), who gets arrested for his alleged involvement in the murder case. He ends up in the district jail of Nagercoil, where things don’t seem like what they appear to be. While a highly influential man outside is already waiting to get Sethu for multiple reasons, he happens to earn the wrath of inspector Arokkya Das (RK Suresh) inside the jail.
Parallelly, we also get to know that Sethu was on the run with his girlfriend Kayal (Anaswara Rajan) and he ended up in jail before starting up a new life. As pressure mounts from all sides, Sethu, a shrewd youngster, plots a jailbreak with the help of other remand prisoners inside, including Bobby Simha. Can these prisoners manage to execute their plan against all the challenges that they are subjected to every other day?
Director Brinda’s Thugs is an adaptation of the Malayalam film Swathanthryam Ardharathriyil which released in 2018. Similar to the original, Brinda has managed to make a technically strong film that gives a pulsating experience to the viewers in the second half. The jail-break sequence, especially when Sethu gets chased by a group of police officials in the climax, is brilliantly made with some interesting frame compositions.
That said, the director also takes a lot of time to establish the initial set up and the conflicts. Too many speed ramps and slow-motions in the initial sequences kind of spoil the ‘realism’ that comes along with a genre like this. Another drawback is that we find it difficult to empathise with the central characters, who are desperate to escape from the prison. Their motives are not clear enough for us to root for them, despite all the hardships that they face inside the jail. One thing about which we can’t complain is the choice of cast and the way stunt sequences are choreographed in the climactic sequences. Sam CS’s background score is powerful enough to elevate certain sequences and emotions.
Hridhu Haroon’s looks are tailor-made for the character, and his power-packed performance really helps to hold the viewer’s attention throughout. It doesn’t really seem like his debut, as he overshadows most of his co-stars in the film. Munishkanth’s one-liners in the second half do help to create lighter moments now and then. RK Suresh’s performance as a menacing cop is quite intense and adds value to the story. Bobby Simhaa, too, has delivered his best. However, there is not as much violence in the film as was projected in the first-look poster and the trailer. Overall, Thugs is definitely a film that could be experienced on the big-screen for its technical brilliance and the genre that it deals with.