Spy thrillers on the rise in Kollywood

By M Bharat Kumar Published on Sep 13, 2017 05:24 PM IST

Chennai: It is time to say bye to horror thrillers in Tamil cinema. Action-packed spy films, which were common during yesteryear actors MGR and Jaishankar era, are back.

Close on the heels of Ajith’s Vivegam which managed a decent run, come films like Vishal’s Thupparivalan, AR Murugadoss’ directorial venture Spyder and Vikram-starrer Dhuruva Natchathiram.

What is common among them is that they are all espionage films.

Speaking to News Today, Kannan, an avid film buff says, "Spy films are basically thrillers. They show the espionage activities of agents and their risk of being discovered by their enemies. The genre is popular with audiences worldwide. Those combining action and science fiction genres also include elements of political thrillers."

Unlike cop stories, there is global approach in these films and the premise is big, he adds.

Much recently came Vivegam. The Ajith-starrer is a James Bond-esque film set in European nations. Ajith plays the chief in a counter-terrorism squad that fights terrorists across the globe. He takes on international mafia, chases baddies on the streets of Serbia and Georgia. Though the movie managed a mixed review, yet it had good box office collection.

Now comes Mahesh Babu’s Spyder. An A R Murugadoss directorial venture, as the title suggests, it revolves around the heroics of a spy, who is on a mission. With S J Suryah playing the baddie, the bilingual (being made in Tamil and Telugu) is opening big 29 September.

As the trailer suggests, there are abundant action scenes and it promises a visual treat for the audience. And on the floors is Gautham Vasudev Menon’s Dhuruva Natchathiram. Sources close to the filmmaker say that is a typical Hollywood-inspired spy thriller. Vikram plays an Interpol officer, who goes to different countries (quite like James Bond) on a mission. The movie has been shot in European countries besides Dubai and Chennai. A team of men assisted by an intelligent hacker fights global terrorism in a scientific manner. This forms the crux of Dhuruva Natchathiram.

Speaking about his forthcoming film Thupparivalan, Vishal said, "This is more like a Jaishankar movie. There is suspense, excitement, action and drama. A whodunit thriller."

Speaking to News Today, Sridaran, an industry tracker, says, "In those days, films of MGR like Ragasiya Police,

Sivaji’s Raja and many Jaishankar-starrers were basically spy thrillers. Jaishankar was even referred to as ‘Desi James


The trend is coming back slowly. However, not all artistes and filmmakers can pull off this genre. It involves more

production cost and a hero with good opening in cinema halls can alone try this subject. The money invested has

to be recovered."

"But a mere action film cannot succeed. It has to have emotional drama and good music that should have a connect with

the masses," he adds

"If the upcoming films like Spyder and Dhuruva Natchathiram click, many more in this genre may be attempted. Everyone knows people run behind success in Kollywood," he concludes.


Some of the popular spy thrillers in Tamil cinema

Andha Naal

Ragasiya Police

Puthiya Paravai

CID Shankar


Vallavan Oruvan

Iru Vallavargal


Kuruthi Punal