Thodari – Review :
Cast: Dhanush, Keerthy Suresh, Radharavi, Karunakaran, Harish Uththaman, Ganesh Venkatraman, Thambi Ramaiah.
Direction: Prabhu Solomon.
After the Disastrous Kayal, the “Mynaa”, “Kumki” maker Prabhu Solomon returns with
the talented Dhanush, who’s on the lookout for that big commercial hit post Velaiyilla Pattathari. Known for weaving emotional love stories shot beautifully in aesthetic locales, what has Prabhu come up with in Thodari?
Plot and Performances :
Railway Pantry vendor Poochiyappan falls for touch-up girl Saroja, and things go well, until the train in which they travel, begins to move uncontrolled at extreme speed,after few human errors. What happened to the lives of hundreds of passengers on-board, and whether Poochiyappan and Saroja’s love succeeded is what Thodari is all about.
Thodari is a train movie, that doesn’t rely on performances, but just on the screenplay. Which is exactly why one would definitely wonder,what a natural actor like Dhanush is doing here. Though the actor occasionally brightens up the proceedings with his counters on Thambi Ramaiah, neither the romantic track nor his characterization offers Dhanush enough scope to emote and display what he’s capable of. A total letdown from the actor / Star. Keerthy Suresh, gets to play an innocent role that perfectly gives her the platform to emote, express and establish her histrionic skills (Though the hamming could’ve been definitely avoided). Radharavi has been getting some real good roles of late, and the veteran impresses yet again, with his perfect portrayal of a politician. While Thambi Ramaiah and Karunakaran try to evoke few laughs, their track is stretched more than required that it begins to bore beyond a point. Harish Uththaman is forced to look like a villain,with his irritating antics, and Ganesh Venkatraman is wasted in an insignificant role. The rest of the cast including Chinni Jayanth, Nasser wasted in insignificant roles.
Music and Technical Departments :
D.Imman – Prabhu Solomon combo had delivered two melodious albums in Mynaa and Kumki, but Thodari is a downer, as none of the songs barring “Pona Usuru” impress,and the jarring BGM almost mutes the dialogues throughout the screenplay (Of course, the train’s noise is obvious, but at points, the BGM overtakes that as well!!). While Vetrivel Mahendran’s cinematography presents the serene hilly locales and the train in all its glory, the VFX is a downer.
While his movies of late have been known for the pleasant locations and the memorable music (Though at the initial stages, Prabhu had attempted love, Action, sports thriller in movies like Kannodu Kaanbathellam, King, Kokki, Laadam and Lee),this time around Prabhu Solomon has chosen a love story in the backdrop of a speeding train to death .The plot looks wafer thin, and all that it needed was a solid gripping screenplay which Thodari exactly lacks. With a solid actor like Dhanush on-board, Prabhu could’ve definitely made Poochiyappan connect emotionally with the audience, but has decided to let go of that aspect . The pointless first half, (barring the interval where the movie actually begins) moves at a leisurely pace, without any significant events, riding solely on the comedy track featuring Dhanush – Thambi Ramaiah and the romantic track with Keerthy Suresh. Beyond a point, Keerthy’s Chitra Ghoshal acts become annoying, and the “Oorellam Kekudhey” number is atrociously placed in the screenplay. While Prabhu Solomon attempts to perform damage control in the second half, with a better paced screenplay, rather than completely focusing on the protagonist and his role in the rescue act, he decides to focus on media’s TRP hunger, the humanity angle, police intervention and a lot of other things. Though the said sequences that perfectly portray the irresponsible,crazy media evoke laughs, they derail Thodari from the right track. Poor VFX and placements of songs only add to the damage.Besides not elaborating on Harish Uththaman’s role and the reason behind his irritating antics, it’s a disappointment that Prabhu Solomon has used a veteran like Nasser in a blink and you miss role, and despite having a huge star cast that includes amazing performers, he hasn’t focused on the emotional quotient. Though the director sustains the interest of the viewer partially, by making them wait to see if the lovers unite, crossing the danger (He has had a successful separation record in Hits Mynaa and Kumki), the screenplay on the whole isn’t gripping enough. Too many deviations from the actual track make this wannabe thrill ride an unsatisfying outing from the Director.
VERDICT: What’s Dhanush doing in this derailed train?!