Thirunaal review: A typical revenge drama

Thirunaal review: A typical revenge drama
Ramnath’s Thirunaal in Tamil can at best be summed up as a romp of rowdies, punctuated by pelvic thrusting, horribly vulgar dances, swing of sickles, spurting blood and a love affair between a school teacher and, well, a lungi-clad goon.
One never completely understands the head or tail of a plot in which the heroine (played here by Nayanthara, and called Vidya), an affectionate schoolteacher from a modest but respectable family, flips for a rowdy, unlettered and uncouth, essayed by Jiiva. His screen name is blade

If all this was not adequate to paint the canvas red, Blade is an orphan who has been “reared’ by a notorious goonda, Naga (Sharath Lohithaswa), whose partner in business (though this is clean) happens to be Vidya’s father. When he is cheated by Naga, lover-boy Blade is not happy — leading to his friction with his boss.
We know where the story will veer to after this with a script that is often crowded with characters and floundering without direction. Thirunaal, however, does have some above average performances. As a roadside rowdy, Jiiva often emotes with flair and feeling, and Nayanthara, though meant to be a flower-vase on the mantlepiece, manages a nuanced piece of acting, conveying with a fair degree of conviction her dilemma in the arms of a man, who is, at best, a societal outcast with a crime on his conscience.
Jiiva and Nayanthara’s performances keep you engaged and invested despite the familiar narrative, but by the end you are overcome by the unmistakable feeling of exhaustion. Overall, Thirunaal isn’t unwatchable – far from it. But it is old-fashioned and evokes a distinct sense of déjà vu.