Pathu Thala review: Slow, yet engaging gangster drama, but no wow factor

Pathu Thala review: Slow, yet engaging gangster drama, but no wow factor

Obeli N Krishna’s Pathu Thala is a slow-paced gangster drama that has a leisurely build-up but ends with a riveting action sequence.

Sakthivel (Gautham Karthik) is an undercover cop sent to find out the true face of the sand-mine mafia head AGR (Silambarasan TR) and whether he is involved in the kidnap/murder of the Tamil Nadu chief minister (Santhosh Prathap).

Though Sakthivel wants to remain loyal to his department, he also slowly gets attracted by the mysterious aura of AGR, who is also a good Samaritan. At the same time, Sakthi is intimidated by the brutal killings executed by AGR whenever someone in his gang betrays him.

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AGR, on the other hand, likes Sakthi’s smartness and the way he solves his personal problems. Will AGR fall into Sakthi’s trap or will his good heart win over the cop?

Done to death

Pathu Thala takes its own time to unfold. But the problem is that undercover cop stories and their betrayals have been done to death in Indian and world cinema. So, the surprise factor is missing.

However, that does not mean the film is poorly made. The director has done his best to captivate the audiences with the story, and the tropes are tried and tested. While most of the first half belongs to Gautham Karthik (an earnest effort) and the gangs of AGR, Silambarasan TR enters only around intermission.

The second half has many scenes to highlight AGR’s mass image (again, an excellent performance). But the high point of the film is the riveting climax with a phenomenally choreographed and filmed action sequence. The sound design and AR Rahman’s background score in the climax also amplify the overall mood of the film.

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Technically, the dark tone used by the cinematographer works in favour of the film, and Rahman’s songs and background score are top-notch. Besides Gautham Karthik and Silambarasan TR, Gautham Menon has also done a good job as the cunning politician, while Priya Bhavani Shankar, Teejay, and Kingsley are adequate in their parts.

Overall, Pathu Thala is an engaging gangster drama, if you don’t mind the slow pace.

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