Ulkuthu ★★½

seems weirdly timid after caarthik raju's very interesting debut thirudan police, which had dinesh's layabout turned avenging cop break down crying in front of the villains any time his late father's death was mentioned. this is great for the opening hour stretch, where dinesh (one of the most underrated tamil stars of his generation) gets to be mysterious stranger in small town and the town veers widely between comic and a little harsh, then settles down to very normal revenge/shankar flashback stuff in second half. still there's really something here - the central villain's kabbadi focus alone is really interesting.