Sathyamurthi is an innocent young man, who comes to Chennai with the hopes of landing a job. He reaches out to his friend, who works as a driver to Mime Gopi, who plays the role of a corrupted politician. But Sathyamurthi's friend advises him that he will be able to survive and earn in this city, only if he is cunning. After a while he successfully brainwashes him and sends him to John Vijay, who coaches wannabe criminals. In due time Sathyamurthi becomes a petty thief.
Meanwhile, Mime Gopi plans to win the upcoming politics by bribing the voters in his constituency. Hence, he arrangers five crores and sends it through his driver to be distributed. But as the driver is Sathymurthi's friend, he confides in him about being Mime Gopi's conduit to transfer the money. Sathyamurthi immediately comes up with a plot to steal the money out of his friend's hands, with the help of John Vijay. Simultaneously, the politician's confidante E Ramadoss teams up with a cruel cop Ajay Gosh and make their own plans to steal the money. The rest of the plot revolves around how and who gets their hands on the money after a series of twists and turns.
In the first half of the movie, debutant Sathyamurthi has delivered an appreciative performance, first like an unsuspecting naive young man, and then like a cunning person. Mime Gopi as usual has done a good job, while John Vijay kept the audiences entertained with his unique acting.
Debut director Srikantan has narrated the movie in an interesting way, where it keeps the viewers hooked to the story, with unexpected twists here and there. The story shares resemblances with Mankatha and Soodhu Kavvum, but unlike those movies, Thappu Thanda lacks to entice an excitement within us. Naren Balakumar has composed the music for this film, and he has done a decent job at it. Vinod Bharathi's cinematography skills come to the fore and he has shot well.
In short, Thappu Thanda, could have been much better.