In Chennai parlance, Gethu refers to swagger or power. Maan Karate fame director Thirukumaran’s second film brings in the style abundantly in the form of its aesthetically shot visuals, but leaves a lot to be desired in the movie as an overall product.
Essentially, the story begins with an honest, straightforward physical education teacher of a school in a hill station, Sathyaraj. We have been told in many Tamil films that such quality is always the best recipe for conceiving a lot of conflicts on the silver screen and Gethu also follows this surmise. And therefore Gethu is all about what happens because of this virtue of Sathyaraj.
Udhayanidhi Stalin plays Sethu, the son of Sathyaraj, who appears to be a librarian of a local library in the hill station and helps out the Father there. Udhay is much confident when it comes to action sequences and dance movements.
His earnest efforts in the department of emotions are also quite evident. However, it is a little difficult to accept Amy Jackson as an Iyengar girl, but all the same, she does what is required of her in a neat manner.
In Udhay’s earlier films, we had seen Santhanam as his buddy and in Gethu, this role is taken over by Karunakaran who dons the role of a cop.
He has a very limited screen space in the film. Vikranth has a different role and the actor essays his part pretty decently. For Sathyaraj, this is yet another film. Mime Gopi is making good strides with every movie and he deserves a meritorious mention in Gethu.
The story is a lot predictable and can even be said to have an eighties treatment. For the current audiences, who are thirsty for new and refreshing subjects, Gethu does not offer much. When the film shifts gears from a normal mode to a kind of a thriller, there should have been more intriguing knots waiting to be untangled.
But in Gethu, the clues appear to be unraveling themselves without much effort as though that is the order of the day.
One thing that really strikes out in Gethu is the way every frame looks so perfect with a lot of symmetry and aesthetic sense. You can’t help noticing the well spaced out folds in Vikranth’s mask even in a very grim scene.
Looks like Thirukumaran is keen about how his scenes and the objects in them should appear. Even during a scene when the camera zooms in on a floor that is supposed to convey disorder, there is order in the way things are arranged and the manner in which the birds flutter out.
Sometimes you wonder why the setting of this film should be in a hill station, it could basically be anywhere. But then you realize hill stations are the ones which provide ample scope for picture perfect frames that would distract the attention of the audience from the core content. Going by that, Sukumar’s camera work is exemplary in Gethu. The way this man lights and frames every scene is completely out of the world.
On the musical side, Harris Jayaraj’s tracks are functional and his usual trademark background notes do come up in Gethu too. The songs are out of sync and do not merit a place in the proceedings. On the other hand, the action sequences are well choreographed.
Toting it up, Gethu could have worked better, if the writing was stronger. The director’s lofty ambitions in narrating a thriller are palpable, but it falls short of want of more interesting elements.
Verdict: Exemplary visuals, but less than moderately engaging