Cast: Sundeep Kishan, Vikranth, Soori, Harish Uthaman, Vinoth Kishan and Mehreen Pirzada
If you’ve closely followed Suseenthiran’s work, you’d know that friendship is more or less a recurring theme in his films. His latest outing Nenjil Thunivirundhal is also centered on friendship and treads a very familiar path but the monotony is broken by a relevant but not so convincing social angle. Even though cut from the same cloth as the path-breaking Naan Mahan Alla (which is still raved and remembered for its raw presentation), it’s slightly underwhelming that Nenjil Thunivirundhal isn’t as powerful as the former but still manages to leave an impact and that’s quite an achievement.
The story revolves around two friends – played by Sundeep and Vikranth – and certain events that unfold in their lives and their aftermath. Vikranth is hot-headed and he speaks more with his fists and that earns him the wrath of a few people. Sundeep, on the other hand, is someone who wants to stay away from problems. Quite early on, we get a scene where Sundeep goes and asks for clemency for his friend and doesn’t mind losing his self-esteem in the process. They swear by each other and that’s what makes them tick as a pair on screen.
Their friendship, though slightly predictable, works due to realistic performances. Both Sundeep and Vikranth shine in their respective roles. Sundeep particularly deserves praise for turning in a restrained performance. Agreed, he does go slightly over the top in the action and emotional scenes and it’s needed, otherwise, he’s a treat to watch in a role that’s unlike anything he’s done in Telugu industry. Harish Uthaman packs a punch in a brooding avatar, playing the baddie to the tee. His look might not be great but he makes his role menacing with his earnest performance.
It’s slightly disappointing that Suseenthiran, known for his realistic treatment, doesn’t do full justice to Nenjil Thunivirundhal, which has lot of untapped potential. Nevertheless, we get a taut crime thriller set against the backdrop of friendship.