Thittam Irandu is one of those thrillers that begins with a lot of rain. As the camera pulls back from a house, we see a man with his face masked by a bike helmet. And when the camera moves down, we see that he has a knife in his hand and walks with a limp. Who could he be? Is this a one-off murder or is he a serial killer? Aishwarya Rajesh plays Adhira, a cop, and we wonder if this is the case she’s going to follow next. We’re filled with questions but slowly we lose interest in the answers as the film moves on.
We get a weakly motivated suspect (played by Pavel Navageethan). We also get generic flashbacks that are supposed to give us insight into Adhira’s childhood but they don’t really do much. What bothered me most about Thittam Irandu is that nobody seems to even be trying. Everything, including how the plot strands unfold, is very functional and generic. If someone wants to say something, they say just that very thing without trying to sound interesting or dramatic. There’s no attempt to make the scenes lively or interesting, and there’s a lot of audience-cheating.
Some kind of cheating is expected and even par for the course in a film of this kind. Let’s say you see someone with a knife and you suspect them of something. Later, after a few scenes, you might realize that the person was actually doing something else and not what you thought. But here, there’s so much cheating that you don’t know what to make of it all and what to believe. For example, a man who is captured by Adhira instantly spills all the details she (and we as the audience) needs to know—end of scene. You’d expect some drama or resistance from the man. And there’s no question if he could be lying.
The only thing I liked about the film is its premise that’s linked to gender and it’s truly original. Note how Adhira wears pants and shirts through the length of the film as if to show that she’s a man doing a man’s job. The premise results in a twist involving a character (naming who would spoil the film) but it’s treated in a very simplistic manner.
In fact, at the end I was left wondering why make this a murder mystery in order to frame the premise? Why not make it a drama and really go to town by exploring every facet and angle of it? I was left with this thought at the end of the film: Poor Aishwarya Rajesh deserved better.