Natpe Thunai review: A cocktail of sports, friendship and politics!
Natpe Thunai is a well-intended film and is engaging in parts.
Critic's Rating: 3/5
Thursday 4 April 2019
Aadhi, Anakha, Harish Uttaman, Karu Palaniappan
Hiphop Tamizha Aadhi has used the template of his super hit film Meesaya Murukku with hockey as the backdrop along with politics behind sports in India in Natpe Thunai. In short the film is about sports, friendship and politics and is watchable for the hockey episodes and peppy songs!
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Prabhakaran(Hiphop Tamizha) is a carefree young man whose only ambition is to move to France and for Nationality verification, he stays in his uncle's house in Karaikal. Though Aadhi hates Karaikal, he falls in love with Deepa (Anagha), a local hockey player. While helping Deepa to get a position in her team, Prabhakaran also unmasks his identity! He is India's junior hockey team captain and an international player who is facing a ban from playing. When underground politics in selection committee takes away the life of Prabha's friend, he too gets suspended for three years and now our man hates the game.
Meanwhile, Pondicherry's sports minister Harichandran (Karu. Palaniappan) sketches a plan to grab the hockey turf given away as a token of gift by the city's proud player Arangavalan. Now Prabhakaran should help the local hockey coach(Harish Uttaman) and his players by leading the team as their new captain! If Prabha leads to the team to victory, they will not be listed in the under performing category and eventually no one can take away the hockey turf and the ground from them!
Almost 90% of the first half moves in a leisure pace with needless scenes and uninteresting romantic scenes, comedy and three songs! Only in the intermission , the film picks after the hero picks up his hockey stick. But post intermission, the film is packaged with so many scenes including a flashback where we get to know the hero's achievement and loss as mere voice overs. Natpe Thunai gains momentum only in the climax hockey match, which is the highlight.
Karu. Palaniappan as the scheming politician and his uncanny dialogue delivery is the biggest takeaways in Natpe Thunai. Harish Uttaman is good while hero Aadhi doesn't look convincing as a sportsman. He could have worked a bit to get at least his body language correct in the match-scenes. He uses the same set of expressions and mannerisms from Meesaya Murukku. New girl Anagha is promising and she not only looks good but has performed well.
Technically, Adhi's songs and background score elevate the film in crucial portions. Cinematography should be grand in such colorful sports entertainer but here the visuals look dull. The runtime also should have been lesser by minimum twenty minutes, the unnecessary scenes in the first half could have been easily chopped off.
Overall, Natpe Thunai well-intentioned and is an engaging watch. But it never rises above that to become a film that could truly make a difference. What holds your attention in the end is the gripping climax hockey match scenes that are filmed so effectively that you literally find yourself transported to the centre of the action. But the film fails to leave a lasting impression because it doesn’t say anything that you haven’t already heard before.
Natpe Thunai review: Sports entertainer