Thandavam (2012) – Movie Review

Thandavam (2012) seems to be an action thriller coupled with Drama. I’ve been trying to classify the movie just as an Action thriller or even as a Drama, but I fail every time I try categorizing it. It somehow gives a mixture of genres and thus leaving it in its own flavor. It reprehensibly fails to appease the heart which was elevated well high with the hype that it created by the castings – Vikram, Amy Jackson (Madrasapattinam fame…Maranduttiyaa…?) and Anushka.

The movie as a whole did create a commercial sentiment with foreign locales (London), English speaking characters with due subtitles in Tamil, Interpol and a bit of terrorism. But what’s the point in such an effort without any plausible justice to the flavor of the story? Haven’t we witnessed enough revenge plots? There is no offence to the screenplay and cinematography – a perfect centum. But the sanctity of the movie is altogether spoiled with a predictable script. It would have been a classic thriller if more emphasis is given on the uniqueness of the script.

It somehow resembled the ‘Jayam Ravi’ starring Dhaam Dhoom and we have Lakshmi Rai in the same character almost. Ohhh I guessed it was Laksmi Rai when she appears suspiciously veiled and clandestine to the world outside. My guess turned out to be true! Whoa! Except that, the story revolves around the characters traversing between London and India instead of Russia.

Amy Jackson – She cat-walks, she smiles and she wins Miss London title, who is a British born Indian girl named Sarah Vinayagam. Very good! Now what has the movie done to her for the characterization? – NOTHING. She walks and dances for an English number (intro song, okay!) – Richness maintained, okay! This is not one of those low budget movies you see. And…and in the Miss London show press meet, she declares her love for the blind Kenny (Vikram) – How socialistic and righteous! That’s all, your honor from her. She is useful towards the climax. I wonder she maintained that ‘Vaalai pala thol valukki valibar uyir ooshal’ accent. Thanks for speaking in English!

Anushka Shetty – She is a Doctor who gets in matrimony with Vikram without the knowledge of his profession. She looked elegant and personified dignity. But what’s with her role? Somehow she didn’t fit in perfectly. There was no chemistry between them. To put it in a very pathetic English, ‘One movie you become hit with Vikram means, you will again act with him aaah?’ By the way, she appeared like an elder sister of Vikram throughout the movie.

Nasser – Police Officer who is a Srilankan Tamil, who investigates the serial murders that’s happening in the movie. So having a Srilankan Tamil character in a Tamil movie shot in London brings in more diversity and richness to the script. Isn’t it? Point noted. And did I mention he is an Apple fan boy who roams around with iPad staring at it full time, throughout the movie. Last time I found him roaming around in US, with an encyclopedia, in the movie Jeans. Good progress Sir. He is the only source of information which enlightens us with the progress of the mystery with the help of ‘audio notes’ and iSight camera albums from his iPad. Though he wasn’t given a well anchoring role in the movie, he was atleast a guiding source of light to keep us informed of the complex knots in story which we already know sans his Apple-ness!

Vikram – This man has to be appreciated for a consistency in his performance in wide variety of roles but also to be advised and warned to choose his script cautiously. His characterization as a blind, revengeful man, an assassin whose life is filled with gloominess and despair, has been wonderfully taken and delivered on screen. He aesthetically fits the role he chooses starting from Anniyan, Kandasamy, Deivathirumagal and now this Thandavam. Now there is a new trend in the Tamil movies, of including some technical/medical terms and ideas in the story line which will try to elevate the flavor to slightly conceptual.

As you guessed, we have a new term to be spoken about in the lines of split personality (Chandramukhi/Anniyan), autism (Deivathirumagal), short term memory loss (Ghajini), hypnotism/Nokku Varmam (7’am Arivu). Vikram, though he is blind, he carries out the murders at ease and navigates across the streets and roads without much difficulty using a technique called ‘echolocation’ which deals with acoustics (Physics this time!). He has developed the ability from a blind school in London, to detect objects in his environment by sensing echoes from those objects by actively creating sounds with his tongue (tch tch). It is a very basic technique of acoustic way finding by tapping the cane on the ground. SONAR also works in the same principle. This helps the person, to navigate with the auditory cues than visual ones. Just for a mention, bats too locate their prey by emitting sounds and with the reflected waves of sound; they locate the proximity of things around them. So some conceptual thingy is included in the movie.

Santhanam – The savior of human mankind inside the theatre with his timely dialogues and witty liners, flamboyantly tingling the humor bones. His presence in the story line helps to relax a bit amidst the serious progress. His part of dialogues and delivery is just flawless without any crass double entendres. Sample below…! 🙂

Google search panna kuda enna maadiri good boy kedaikamaattan…

His wits are enjoyable throughout. I was literally laughing out loud with his wits. Good Job Santhanam!

I’ve been feeling too low to write review about this movie. That much of inclination the movie has given me to itself. Few movies somehow create a spark in you which sustains till you reach home from the theatre. You keep thinking about the scenes and the story and the effect that it subjects you to. But ‘Thandavam’ hasn’t been in the mind when I came out of the theatre. You can find all the supporting lead actors and actresses from various other movies in this (Flashback). But why? Director has simply wasted all the characters with a failingly predictable and a lousy script.

The movie is not that bad to be avoided as such. It is enjoyable with your expectation meter kept insanely at low level. You can watch this movie once for its screenplay and cinematography!

Thandavam – Dappankuthu!

Rating:  ■■■■■ (2/5)

2 thoughts on “Thandavam (2012) – Movie Review

  1. My biggest grouse was such a weak villain :(!

    Try to watch a Malayalam movie called Yodha directed by Santosh Sivan starring Mohanlal and shot in Nepal. There Mohanlal is blinded and becomes a protector of the ‘Rinpoche’ a young incarnation of the Buddha! His portrayal of a blind warrior should be seenn to be believed!

    Vikram has done unintentional comedy here! Anushka, Amy Jackson and Lakshmi Rai all three look heavily wasted and hung-over in the movie God knows what shopping they did in London and came to act with puffy eyes and cheeks!

    Thandavam paarpadhu – thar-kulai ku samam!

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