Language : Malayalam
Director : Khalid Rahman
Writers : Ashraf Hamza, Muhsin Parari
Cast : Tovino Thomas, Kalyani Priyadarshan, Chemban Vinod Jose, Shine Tom Chacko, Lukman Lukku, Austin Dan.
Genre : Action | Comedy | Drama
Most of the recent films of director Guy Ritchie predominantly stood out for their technical quality and the innovations he brought into the storytelling even if it was a routine plot. In his latest venture Thallumaala, director Khalid Rahman tries to emulate this approach. With an absolute focus on storytelling and style, over the story itself, Thallumaala manages to be an entertaining ride for most parts.
As the title suggests, the film narrates a chain of fights in the life of a group of friends, and how they ended up in each of those situations. Khalid with his super talented team, both in front and behind the camera, provides a clear idea of what to expect from this no-brainer, right from the title cards. You quickly digest the fact that it’s not the story that’s going to hold your attention, but the way it’s going to be told. One feels the members of the crew were told to bring their most innovative versions to the table, and that’s clearly evident in each and every frame. Most of the writing efforts seem to have gone towards the screenplay where both Muhsin Parari and Ashraf Hamza, have done well with the executing the events in a non-linear fashion. It does feel convoluted initially, with all the criss-cross between timelines, but eventually gets easier to follow post interval.
The three main pillars of Thallumaala are the editing, cinematography, and stunt departments. For a film that packs close to 8 stunt segments, action choreographer Supreme Sundar does well to give each of them a unique style. These stunts are further elevated by Jimshi Khalid’s vibrant frames. The multi timeline non-linear style of the film is bound to possess a challenge for any editor, and Nishad Yousef has done a commendable job. The action segments get an enormous boost due to his efforts on the editing table..
It was interesting to see Tovino stepping into uncharted waters as the lead, Manavalan Waseem. His energy is infectious and the actor convincingly pulls off the numerous phases of Waseem with the required swagger and attitude. Lukman Avaran gives the next best performance and much like Tovino, he too packs a punch in the fight sequences. Shine Tom Chacko was fine but his dialogue delivery felt odd at times but it gets better as the film progresses. Kalyani plays a typical love interest role but her performance keeps up with the vibe of the film.
Along with the lack of a solid story, Thallumaala also suffers from exposing all its inventiveness and wackiness in narration during the first hour itself. As a result, the approach starts to feel repetitive and fails to evoke the adrenaline-pumping effect it achieves in the first half. The entire theatre action block is a treat to watch and it succeeds in leaving you with a high during the interval, but the graph falls in the second half and remains almost constant till the climax, where it once again shows signs of picking up. Thallumaala also struggles when it tries to push the envelope too much with respect to its narration. The whole Waseem – Beevi phone episode and the van song hardly contribute anything to the plot and it oddly stands out as an extra fitting in an otherwise well-packaged film. A classic case of failing to limit one’s ambitious ideas.
Even with all these drawbacks, Thallumaala deserves a theatrical watch for its distinctive presentation and unapologetic attempt at delivering a colourful entertainer. If you’re someone on the lookout for a content-driven flick, this might not satisfy you, but if you’re solely interested in having fun at the cinemas for 2 hours, Thallumaala will definitely not disappoint you.
Verdict : 4/7 stars