The movie piracy website Tamil Rockers holds a very special place in Tamil cinema. Of course, for all the wrong reasons, but the havoc it wreaked in the last decade has hugely affected the industry. The anonymity of the group made it both widely popular and also raised questions about its apparent connections within the Tamil film industry. Arivazhagan’s Tamil Rockerz, a semi-fictional story about the group, has the potential to be a riveting thriller; but it never realises it fully and treats the story on a surface level. Read more: Pa Ranjith’s gripping short film stands out in anthology thriller while most others are downright bad
The show opens in the wee hours of a new release of a leading movie star. His fans are assembled outside the theatre to watch the 4am show and the atmosphere is absolutely electric. However, even before the end of the first show, the film is leaked online and fans of a rival actor use this opportunity to spread the piracy link. Shattered by the news of the leak and the hounding calls from the distributors demanding their money back, the film’s producer dies by suicide.
This puts enormous pressure on the Producers’ Council, which is forced to look into the matter as the industry awaits the release of ₹300 crore movie Garuda in the next 10 days, and the film’s producer has bet his entire career on it. The team behind Tamil Rockerz announce publicly that they’ll release Garuda online a day before its theatrical release, which puts enormous pressure on the council and the producer, who is forced to take the help of police. ACP Rudra (Arun Vijay) is appointed for the case, and made to lead a team to look for the people behind Tamil Rockerz, and stop the leak.
The treatment of the story is so generic that it fails to keep one invested throughout. There are some good moments but the writing is so predictable that the show never builds on the suspense it initially creates. After the first episode, the lead up to the leak threat and the film’s grand release never keeps you on the edge of your seats.
Also, a lot of time is wasted trying to tell the viewers about Rudra’s backstory which involves the death of his wife. It’s a sub-plot that needlessly expects us to empathise with Rudra’s character, but one that never makes sense with respect to the core story about finding the people behind Tamil Rockerz. Is it really necessary to make a cop’s character cope with loss to make him more efficient in his work? It’s a textbook Tamil cinema gimmick that hardly makes any impact in the web series format.
Arun Vijay has played a cop so many times that it doesn’t seem exciting anymore. Unless, it’s a character that’s written differently and is a step up from the usual police characters we’ve seen already. Even though Arun is earnest, he is let down by the poor writing otherwise, which never makes his character standout. The show never tries to dig deeper into the mystery surrounding the Tamil Rockerz group, and merely presents what’s already known about it in the public domain.