It is a much needed break from all the commercial masala flicks that hit the screens every other Friday
Every time you see the name 'Kamal Haasan' on big screen, you automatically expect to see something different and class apart from the regular formulaic flicks.
And more often than not, Kamal succeeds in fulfilling his promise of raising the bar of cinema to next level. Irrespective of the box office success, his recent films Vishwaroopam, Uttama Villain and Papanasam, were appreciated unanimously by fans and critics alike. With Thoongaavanam, Kamal Haasan is back with an interesting film this Diwali. Does he manage to strike the bulls eye yet again? Lets find out!
What's it about:
Diwakar aka CKD ( Kamal Haasan) is a corrupt narcotics officer, who has divorced his wife ( Asha Sarath) and shares the custody of his teenage son with her. Diwakar along with a fellow cop Mani executes a heist by attacking a drug convoy and stealing the package. Due to unfortunate turn of events, one of the men carrying the package is killed. Mallika ( Trisha) and Dhiraviyam ( Kishore) are cops investigating the murder and the heist. Soon, Diwakar gets a call from drug lord Vittal Rao ( Prakash Raj), who informs him that he has kidnapped his son and will return him safely only if Diwakar returns his drug package back to him. Now, Diwakar has to go to Vittal Rao's night club Insomnia, to return the package and free his son. But, cops Mallika and Dhiraviyam are tailing Diwakar, as they doubt that he has something to with the murder of the drug henchman. As soon as he reaches the club, Diwaker hides the bag of drugs in toilet, only to find later that the bag is missing. Meanwhile, a big fish( Sampath) arrives at Vittal Rao's club asking for his package of drugs. Will Diwaker manage to find the missing bag? Will he manage to shake off the cops behind his trail? Will he manage to save his son from Vittal Rao's claws? Go and find yourself at theatres near you.
There are plenty of positives in the film, but what I loved the most about Thoongaavanam is that it gets right into the plot without wasting much time. Also, the film avoids the cliched emotional scenes and unnecessary back stories, which might have diluted the thrill factor and affected the pace of the film. Kamal Haasan is undoubtedly excellent in the film, playing a rather grey character to perfection. Also, the actor manages to beautifully bring out the angst of a clumsy, irresponsible father who loves his son dearly. Even in action sequences, Kamal is swift and impressive. It is almost impossible to take your eyes off the big screen every time when Kamal Haasan enters the frame. Trisha has given a commendable performance as a hardened female cop, who will go the extra mile to do her duty. With no make up on, Trisha looks her part and stands out in her scenes along with Kamal. The duel between Kamal Haasan, Trisha and Kishore at the kitchen of the night club is amazingly shot. The realistic nature of the action stunts makes the struggles of the characters believable. Prakash Raj is terrific as the comic yet dangerous drug lord, as he manages to invoke humour and look menacing at the same time. Sampath has a small role and has done a decent job. Kishore has a meaty role to play and he has done full justice to his role. Amidst racy cat and mouse chase between Kamal Haasan, Prakash Raj and Trisha, there are loads of wry humourous, one liners delivered by the secondary artist that will make you chuckle at times. Full marks to director Rajesh Selva for not deviating from the story to employ cliched commercial elements. There are no songs in the film to block the smooth and thrilling proceedings. The scene where Kamal kisses a random girl in the club ( Madhu Shalini) time and again, to avoid being caught by Trisha and Kishore is fantastic.
There are a few flaws which affect the film in the second half. After a racy and to the point first half, the proceedings in the second half slow down a bit as the plot gets a little muddled with Kamal going around the club, hiding from his enemies. The makers could have utilised the suspense factor brilliantly, but sadly everything is revealed to you in first half hour as the director doesn't seem interested in building suspense. SPOILER AHEAD: In the end, it is revealed that Kamal Haasan is an under cover cop and is not actually a corrupt cop as he has been portrayed. I found it unnecessary as Kamal's grey character added so much flavour to the film. Also, why is it important that the hero has to be Mr Goody Two Shoes? I believe even a corrupt cop will have the same feeling for his son as a good cop. I personally found that plot twist little cliched.
What to do:
Thoongaavanam is a slick and interesting thriller that has all the elements to keep you hooked. Kamal Haasan and Trisha have come up with fabulous performances, and despite minor flaws, this Hollywood style action thriller is very watchable. Go for it!
3 out of 5
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