THERI REVIEW: Vijay, you are definitely worth more than just a theri, baby!

Statistically, if we look at the story of Theri, this is how it would like in a pie chart,

If you have read world renowned filmmakers’ books or seen their interviews, many strongly believe that there is nothing called a new story. A story is basically a string of inspired moments of the stories a director has heard/seen/read/observed. Absolutely, there is nothing wrong in getting inspired by stories crafted by others.  

However, the blunder that many aspiring filmmakers make, is actually in the execution of the film. Tamil cinema is known for the epitome of Navarasangal (9 varied emotions). Fundamentally, stories are based on any of these 9 emotions. What becomes a hit or a flop, lies in the magic of the screenplay, the narration, how a story is told, how a scene touches an audience who has seen the world more, sometimes deeper than what a writer thinks.  When Tamil cinema is churning out films like kaaka muttai, veesaranai and thani oruvan, is THERI going to be path-breaking, trend-setting, a box-office crasher?

When I walk into a Vijay film, I know exactly what I would be pulverized with--cyclonic action, awe-inspiring heroism, aristocracy and treacly romance. This film has all these elements. However, as a die-hard Vijay fan, I still miss the magic that “therified” in Thuppaki.

“Atlee’s screenplay checks all the boxes, and we’re checking these boxes ten minutes ahead of him.”-   famous film critic and writer BARADWAJ RANGAN.

The 5 million social messages that the director attempted to convey in the 2.5 hr episodical narrative fall flat and Vijay’s little speech about parenting sounds super preachy. The 2.5 hour, at some point, might seem like you were seated in the theatre for 2 days.

Biggest Drawbacks of the film- mind-numbing screenplay, cliché scenes, yawn-inducing songs, multi coloured palette scheme song picturisations, Amy Jackson and her funny wig and her screen presence. We welcomed Britons to India once upon a time and it was more than enough I guess. You are a very pretty woman. But young lady, Tamil cinema may not be the appropriate place for you to showcase your talents. I cringe every time Amy is introduced as a Tamil girl in many films and now as a Malayalee. Aiyo guruvaaurapa! And the role done by Amy as a teacher, can be done by anyone. Even our vadivukarasi could have pulled it off.


Atlee seemed to have been heavily influenced by his guru director shankar’s style of song picturisation. There are myriad colours in every song just like how Shankar has done in many of his films. However, atlee has overdone it. Every song picturisation reminds me of goundamani’s famous scene where he orders a young lady to apply sandalwood paste on him- “Hey enge poosu. hey enge poosu”. Atlee has basically “poosufied” all the colours available on earth, on the set location, on the hero/heroine’ costumes, on backdrop dancers’ attire. Colours everywhere in each of the frames in the songs cause inflammation in the eyes.

If you can match every song in THERI and the picturisation to songs like “naan autokaran naan autokaran”, “alaipaayuthey kanna”, “sundari kanaal oru sethi”, “ennadi raakama”, then you probably can be the next GV Prakash.

But amid all this, what made THERI enjoyable for me as a fan and as a common Tamil film lover?

Nainika- When a child acts, it actually showcases the purest form of acting on screen. Because it doesn’t know anything about acting. The child basically, lives as a child. And that is why, no child actor is condemned for her/his acting in any films that we have seen thus far. Some classic examples are baby Shamili in Anjali, Baby Shalini in Bandham, the kaaka muttai boys.

Now, we have the true theri baby Nainika! While watching the film, I was actually hoping that why didn’t they just titled it as theri baby and craft a child-centric film. Nainika as a “theri baby” is simply a rockstar! She could have done a marvellous job even if it was just Vijay and nainika throughout the film. Her wittiness, her comic sense, her cute-little sparkling reactions- oh gosh! She is a lovable doll!

Vijay- If you are not a vijay fan, probably you would want to skip this part.

 He has done his job reasonably well in the film though. Scenes where he dances like otha sollale dhanush and the comedy track shared by mottai rajendhar and him are some lively portions of the film. As a lovable father, as a humorous happy-go-lucky son, as a romantic husband, Vijay has definitely scored. You can’t resist, but blush like a teenage girl whenever he is praised in the film by the other characters for maintaining his cute-looking baby-ish face for years. Whenever he flashes that boyish grin of his, I fall in love with this charismatic young man one more time.

And the part that I personally loved, were the scenes between Samantha and Vijay. Nostalgic memories how we were going ga-ga over this dashingly handsome upcoming actor Vijay in Kushi and Priyamanavale raced in my mind.

We have seen you in films like thullatha manamum thullum. We have adored you in films like kadhaluku mariyathai. We have celebrated you in films like poove unakkaga.

Vijay, you are definitely worth more than just a theri, baby!

So, is theri worth watching in theatre?

If you are not a hardcore Vijay fan, then it will not be ‘theri’fic, baby. 

(PS: And one question still lingers in my mind- Why 100-crore for this film where there is no foreign-location songs, no mind-blowing VFX?)


  1. Kalakkittel pongo! The pie chart and koundamani's inga poosu anga poosu reference were hilarious! A blog I'm going to subscribe to, especially since I don't watch these films and reading such reviews would be far more fun for me!


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