Thadam Review - A Mind-bending Whodunnit Chucked with a Wavering Narration
Thadam starts with probably the oddest of scenes. I still wonder what made Magizh Thirumeni to start the film with a random love scene. The hero is trying different lines to take the heroine out for a coffee. Nothing works out. She just keeps saying that when asked the right question she will definitely come. We are hooked to know what's the right question. And we end up getting it after 4 minutes of build ups and curiousity. That she likes TEA. It is not just blown out but boy.. it falls awfully flat.
For a long time in the film, incidents follow the same pattern. The editing and pacing of the film goes haywire. Until the first 40 minutes.. one might wonder whether they are watching jaggered pieces of a film reel stitched randomly together. But the film does gets it hold slowly.
Magizh's characters keep surprising you. An engineer who compares cantilever bridge with a bra.. A cigarette smoking, 40+ woman who dates a bank employee to rob him off.. The strokes are vivid. Yet there is an issue in which they are packed together. Sometimes they stand too sore a thumb. But at times, the amalgamation is brilliant.
The incident that sets the film kicking.. who did a murder? Is it Ezhil or Kavin? could have been bit clear. But Magizh wants to capture the dilemma and confusion among the cops by these very similar, identical twins bring in. The reason behind all this (involving Ezhil's girlfriend) is explained to us in a rushed stretch. Whereas we get an extended flashback sequence featuring Sonia Aggarwal who plays Ezhil and Kavin's mother. That story doesn't add much to the film as this is not the kind of thriller that would connect maternal issues with a psycho's mind. It is such wavering narration that keeps killing this otherwise quite a stunner of an idea.
Arun Vijay plays Ezhil and Kavin.. an Engineer and a small time crook. There is not much of a difference in the tone or attitude. He plays both parts without much complaints. I wish the double action thing is brought in to the story quite effortlessly. Before you realise they are two different men.. you are jolted off the storyline almost 4-5 times.
There are two 'heroines' in the sense of being paired with Ezhil and Kavin. Tanya Tope who plays Deepika and Smruthi Venkat who plays Ananthi. But the female lead of the film somehow is in the character of Malarvizhi, played by Vidya Pradeep. She plays the interrogating officer of the case. And she delivers a highly noticeable performance.
I hope Gopinath's cinematography that has built the entire film on dutch angles and titled compositions must have had some reasons to do so. I don't get our cameramans weird obsession with awkward dutch angles. There is not a visual mood that these sorta thrillers need. Instead it is all through the telling and incidents that drives the story. Debutant Arun Raj whose music at the beginning trumbles too amateurish.. but slowly picks its part. He does a very good job with the background score.
Complaints and concerns apart, how long it has been to see a non-star's mainstream film being this rich in content? I wish the film had an even more strong writing that could have taken care of the lethargic beginning. What could have been a mind bending thriller now gets shrunked into a pretty good film. But nevertheless.. Arun Vijay and Magizh Thirumeni deserve more!
Rating : 3/5