Natpe Thunai is the second film featuring Hiphop Tamizha Adhi in the lead with Parthiban Desingu helming the film. Adhi’s debut film Meesaya Murukku won critical acclaim and went on to become a commercially viable venture at the box-office, which in turn raised expectations about Natpe Thunai. The film opens with Prabhakaran (Adhi), a carefree youngster who wants to settle down in France. His mother (Kausalya) is against it. Prabha attends a festival in Karaikal and meets Deepa (Anagha), who is a hockey player trying to break through to the state women’s hockey team. There he is introduced to a hockey coach Shanmugham (Harish Uthaman), who is also an ex-military man. This makes it for the first half, which is mostly comical and works only in parts. Sha Ra’s one-liner provides us with some laughs.
Unlike other films, it is the songs in the first half that provide us with some relief from the story, which looks like heading nowhere. Just into the interval, the story starts unfolding and reveals to us that Prabhakaran, who will come to the rescue of a historical hockey ground, from the hands of corrupt politicians and corporates. The second half is in contrast to the first, as the songs end up being speed breakers. The film has a sub plot too that shows Prabhakaran as a national hockey player, which hasn’t done any good for the elevation of the main plot towards the climax. One thing that has remained constant and laudable in both halves of Natpe Thunai is Karu Pazhaniappan’s performance as sports minister Harichandran, who has no relevance to his name. His sarcasm and confusing film scenes with real life incidents are well-placed in the film and have some impact.
Harish Uthaman’s performance, too, is noteworthy. As the script hardly has any scope for performances, the lead cast and other character artistes struggle to shine and are made to look like amateur actors. Hiphop Aadhi though shines as a music director. Songs like Veedhikor Jaadhi and Venga Mavan are refreshing to hear as well as to watch. The cinematography plays a major role in sports drama in making it more dramatic. But Natpe Thunai’s cinematography doesn’t make us engrossed with the hockey match that’s played in the climax. Overall, the film is just another average commercial potboiler that has scenes from every other Tamil movie that we have watched.