There are few films which leave a lasting impact in our lives. Thalapathi is one such film. It brought the best out of Rajinikanth. Even today we look at Surya with admiration. Superstar Rajinikanth let’s go the aura that made him a superstar and transforms into a wonderful performer. He underplays the role with ease even when he is pitted against one of the most powerful actors of his generation. The chemistry between Rajinikanth and Shobana is just adorable and so is the bonding between Rajini and Mammootty. You actually begin to believe that they are real-life friends. It is this bond that drives the film.
At the other end, we have Mammootty who is one of the finest actors of our times. He is on the wrong side of the law. He is the bad guy but we still empathize with him. Maybe it’s the trust he has on his loyal friend. Maybe it’s the way he turns robin hood for his people. Maybe it’s because we know he is flawed. But Deva is a guy whom we choose to love very much like Surya. It isn’t an easy role to pull off but walks the fine line without fuss.
And then there is Aravind Swamy, Shobana Geetha, Banupriya, Srividhya, Jai Shankar and Amrish Puri. The mother-son moment between Rajinikanth and Srividhya is as poignant as ever as you feel her pain, loss and redemption. Illayaraja manages to move us with a poignant melody Wherever there is silence Illayaraja’s music takes over and gives us some of the all the time favourite. It must be noted that this is Illayaraja’s last film with Mani Ratnam before A.R Rahman took over as the next big thing in Tamil Cinema. Mani Ratnam proved that he was a master in retelling stories with his own version of Karnan’s story.
He retouched the story with perfection. Till date, it has become an evergreen classic with some splendid performances.