THAARAI THAPPATTAI (2016)
THAARAI THAPPATTAI (2016)
Casts: Sasikumar, Varalaxmi Sarathkumar, G.M.Kumar, R.K.Suresh
Bala’s 7th film and first combination with his former associate Sasikumar. Illayaraja’s 1000th film. Do we need any more reasons to catch this film? Proved to be one of the most expected Bala’s films in recent time, ‘Thaarai Thappattai’ has been confidently released in the Pongal race despite the heavy contenders around.
Sannasi (Sasikumar) and Sooravali (Varalaxmi) are from same folk dancing troupe. Even though they are in love with each other, Sooravali is more accepting and expressive towards Sannasi. There comes a situation where Sannasi is forced to forgo his love for Sooravali for her bright future. However, little did he know that his decision will eventually destroy everyone’s peace.
Story – Screenplay
Bala loves to explore the untouched subjects and problems in society. This time he has taken the life of folk dancers and has shed light to several shocking trial and tribulations they face in the society that are left unknown. This is definitely a commendable concept by the National Award winner. As a musical, the film shows the downfall of the folk dancers through musical elements that are placed symbolically in the film. But the question is whether it’s put across common audiences. These are just examples of Bala’s self-indulgence in his own craft.
However, the film progressively looses the strong characterizations Bala has etched in the first half and enters into a predictable gory violent saga. Sooravali that was set up as an eccentric and bold character in the first half falls flat in the second half. The villain, the violence and climax looks forced. The sudden shift in the story does looks shocking but not at all convicning. Bala looks too attached to his template filmmaking and that some how hampers his concepts’ potential to be explored. Depressing as expected, the film might favour only to his hardcore fans whereas common audiences might love it or hate it.
Casting & Performance
Undoubtedly, Varalaxmi is the top performer of the film as Sooravali. Bala brings out all the dynamics of Varu in terms of expression, dancing and dialogue delivery. Everything has been carefully etched and directed by Bala. Just two films old, Varu is definitely a talent to watch out for.
Sasikumar is subtle and impactful. He shows immense improvement in dance as well. The climax fight scenes will highlight a different side of Sasikumar. G.M.Kumar does a similar role to ‘highness’ in ‘Avan Ivan’. As a grumpy thavil (Indian drum) expert and Sasikumar’s father, he will make you angry and sad at the same time.
R.K.Suresh (Studio 9 producer) is the surprise package in the film. He shows no sign to be a debutant but due to the forced characterization, he comes across as loud than menacing. The supporting characters in the folk troupe have also supported the proceeding here and there.
Technically, Bala’s crew has supported his realism through raw treatment. Cinematographer, Cheziyan has mainly used hand held shots in the film to give an immersive experience to the audiences especially during the songs.
Dance choreographer Suchitra’s steps are raw and heavy, adding on as one of the strength of the movie. Maestro Ilayaraja proves that he is the master of folk music and has scored at every portion the script requires. His majestic BGM is a sheer classic!
Despite the dry and typical Bala story format, 'Thaarai Thappattai' is a powerful and hard hitting film that might majorly appeal to his die hard fans due to excessive violence.
Rating : 3.25/5