Etharkkum Thunindhavan (ET) Movie Review

Director Pandiraj's Etharkkum Thunindhavan begins with a series of murders committed by Kannabiran (Suriya). Except for his father Aadhi Rayar (Sathyaraj), no one in his house or his village believe that he has it in him to murder people. After all, as an honest lawyer and an anna (brother in English) to women, he helps people get justice.

As the story progresses, we find out that there's a rivalry between two villages. Inbasekaran AKA Inba (Vinay Rai), an influential person from the rival village, has wronged several women along with his gang of guys. When Kannabiran fights against him, it affects his family. How Kannabiran brings justice to the women who suffered at the hands of Inba forms the story.

Etharkkum Thunindhavan deals with an important topic - women's safety in the digital age. Director Pandiraj's intention to churn out a mass entertainer with a much-needed social message should be applauded. The rural entertainer touches upon the 2019 Pollachi sexual assault case, which is still fresh in the minds of people.

While Etharrkum Thunindhavan has a relevant premise, it fails to evoke a positive emotion. The screenplay and inconsistent performances from certain actors fail to engage the audience and create an impact the film intended to. Despite solid emotional sequences, there seems to be a disconnect with the characters.

The core plot of Etharkkum Thunindhavan is how women are sexually exploited and killed by a notorious gang. When the film gets serious, it sucks you into the world. However, during the romantic and family sentiment sequences, you get tired of watching the orchestrated drama that is supposed to leave you in splits.

Despite many shortcomings, Etharkkum Thunindhavan has some brilliant dialogues about women's dignity. In a scene where Kannabiran comforts his wife Aadhini (Priyanka Arul Mohan) and promises to be an ally, Suriya and Pandiraj hit it out of the park.

Being a leading hero, when Suriya says that a woman's dignity does not lie in her body, it is supposed to make a difference. Pandiraj has put a lot of thought into etching such emotional sequences. However, when it comes to Priyanka Arul Mohan's characterisation, he has failed miserably.

She gets one solid sequence in the second half. But the initial sequences show her as the typical 'loosu ponnu' (a woman portrayed as attractive but naïve and unintelligent). It is high time that directors realise that stupidity doesn't pass off as cuteness.

Etharkkum Thunindhavan is Suriya's show all the way. He is in his prime form. From nailing emotional dialogues to bashing up the goons, he is fun to watch. Priyanka Arul Mohan and Vinay Rai's performances aren't that effective, which is a major disadvantage. Sathyaraj, Saranya Mohan, Soori and Ilavarasu play forgettable characters.

Etharkkum Thunindhavan could have been shorter if not for the uninteresting songs by D Imman. The songs are conveniently placed and do not entertain you.

Cinematographer Ratnavelu's work is exceptional, especially during the climax and interval sequences. Suriya's Etharkkum Thunindhavan could have been much more impactful if the team had concentrated more on the screenplay.