Thuramukham Review

PUBLISHED DATE : 17/Mar/2023

Thuramukham Review

Thuramukham Review

Bharath Vijayakumar


The early portions of Rajeev Ravi's Thuramukham (Malayalam Movie) are in black and white. Mymood (Joju George) stands up against the cruel system that pits the labourers working in the Mattenchery harbour against each other. He goes missing soon and the film fast forwards to the early 1950s. The screen metamorphoses into a coloured one now. We are introduced to Moidu (Nivin Pauly) and Hamza (Arjun Ashokan) who are the sons of Mymood. Your regular movie would have Moidu carrying the legacy of his father and winning the battle that his father had lost fighting. But Thuramukham isn’t your regular film.


Thuramukham’s intentions aren't what your big scale mainstream films generally aspire for. Yes, Thuramukham is a big scale film. Not the kind that tries to enthral you with colour and richness. But one in which you are transported to the period and the place of action. There is an action sequence involving Mymood (Joju George) quite early in the film. But you are already rooting for the character. A well-built Mymood takes on a handful of men and it feels like a mini masala moment. So, when Nivin Pauly gets introduced, I was actually assuming that Rajeev Ravi is going to build this world where we are going to be rooting for the labourers and see them overcome the odds, led by Moidu (Nivin Pauly). Yes, Moidu does side with the oppressing system in the beginning. One would assume that this is a classic arc and equations would change one day and he would become the saviour. But Thuramukham isn't the story of a hero. It is a documentation of history where several heroes stand up for their rights and surprisingly the brawny Moidu isn’t really one of them. It is the meeky and principled Hamza (Arjun Ashokan) who stands up. Rajeev Ravi eschews almost every single predictable beat. This works really well given what the film intends to. But how much of an emotional connect you establish with the characters is a question mark. The casting and the performances are terrific. But at some point, you are wondering if you are as much invested with the proceedings as you would like to. Again, this could very well be intentional. Rajeev Ravi wants to document a tragic part of history and the climax portions does jolt you. But he isn’t so interested in creating drama and emotional conflicts on the way.  Actually, there are sufficient conflicts like the major one between Moidu and Hamza and this even includes a woman in between them. But he isn’t trying to use these conflicts to create a dramatic tension. Without this tension, the slow pacing sort of gets to you at times.


Thuramukham deserves a watch on the big screen. It is an excellent exhibition of finesse in craft. But if you are looking for more drama and payoffs, be forewarned.

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