Tamil Rockerz Review: This thriller comes with a compelling premise and a decent investigation track
Title: Tamil Rockerz
Cast: Arun Vijay and others
Run-Time: Nearly 270 minutes spanning 8 episodes
(‘Tamil Rockerz’ is currently streaming on SonyLIV)
The web series’ title and its motley of tech-savvy villains are an obvious allusion to a torrent website notorious for putting out pirated versions of latest movie releases. Director Arivazhagan and story-writer Manoj Kumar Kalaivanan combine an exciting premise with a real-world problem that directly affects the Tamil film industry. In company with screenplay writers Manoj Kumar Kalaivanan and Rajesh Manjunath, they build a fairly gripping investigative procedural by constantly appealing to the average Tamil person’s unflinching loyalty to cinema.
Action Star Aditya awaits the Diwali release ‘Garuda’, an extravaganza made on a budget of Rs 300 crore (or, as an insider puts it, the producer is exaggerating the cost for obvious reasons). A conspiracy is afoot by a dreadful torrent site named Tamil Rockerz to release the pirated version a day before its theatrical release. Rudhra (Arun Vijay), who has barely been happy in years, leads an investigation that can keep the producer of the most-expensive movie from becoming bankrupt overnight.
The series gets as authentic as possible on movie references. Fans of one star belittling the heroes they hate is an example. The heated arguments during a meeting at the Producers Council, the oblique references to a real-life film financier, the talk about illogical masala movies working because of “magic”, the audiences’ thirst for big-screen spectacles in the age of OTT, negative reviews influencing their choices, so on and so forth, go a long way in amping up the drama.
The writing team puts in solid research, although the plotting may not always be engaging. At times, tropes such as a tragic backstory drag down the novelty factor. Yet, somehow, the story finds a way to re-engage the viewer. The Tamil Rockerz gang shows vulnerability in the face of Rudhra’s smarts. Many a time, we wonder why big production houses publicly thank Cyber Crime departments for their cooperation in fixing piracy. This series gives a glimpse of what goes on in the background. It surely takes a dedicated team to be several steps ahead of faceless pirates who stage acts of sabotage with the help of their well-oiled shady networks.
In one stretch, the narration shows the conduct of post-production works under police surveillance and a shootout episode in parallel. It is an eventful story that pits enraged fans and agonized film industry folks against a dark system. It is a bold series that doesn’t shy away from subtly shining a light on the film industry’s problems, which are sometimes fuelled by the flaws within.
Ishwarya Menon is seen as Rudhra’s wife, while Vani Bhojan shows promise as his colleague. Azhagam Perumal and G Marimuthu get to play well-written parts. B Rajasekar’s cinematography and Vikas Badisa’s background music are measured.
On the flip side, Rudhra’s uneven characterization leaves no room for momentous highs in the slow-paced middle portions. There is an attempt at excessive melodrama, but thankfully such mishaps are few and far between.
Check out the trailer below: