Story & Narration
Technical Aspects & Music
A tense, cleverly written investigative drama!
Thadam is a tense and twisted investigative drama that makes you play the guessing game right from start to finish. The film, despite its flaws, is a neat crime scene drive that engages you until the very end.
Cast: Arun Vijay, Tanya Hope, Smruthi, Vidya Pradeep, Soniya Aggarwal, Yogibabu, Fefsi Vijayan, George, Meera Krishnan & others
Cinematography: S Gopinath
Music: Arun Raj
Editing: NB Srikanth
Stunts: Anbarivu – Stunt Silva
Art Director: A Amaran
Written & Directed by: Magizh Thirumeni
Produced by: Inder Kumar for Redhan The Cinema People
Distribution: Screen Scene
Release Date: 01-03-2019
Run Time: 02:18:00
When the news about Arun Vijay and Magizh Thirumeni teaming up again after Thadaiyara Thaakka came out, I got really excited. The combination’s first film was an action thriller that didn’t quite get its due, but with their second project, they’ve taken up a complex whodunit that is not easy to conceive and execute. Thadam is a tense and twisted investigative drama that makes you play the guessing game right from start to finish. The film, despite its flaws, is a neat crime scene drive that engages you until the very end.
For starters, this is not an action film where most of the runtime can easily be handed over to the stunt director. This film is made out of its writing, which is a complex assemblage of clues, reveals, misunderstandings and more. The beauty of the film is how it somehow stays ahead of the audience’s mind, though it keeps dropping tidbits at regular intervals and challenges you. There are about three twists in the film, and though you may be able to predict one of them, Magizh holds his cards close to his chest and pulls the surprise out of thin air at the end. When the film started off, I was quite skeptical about how it could go, given the fact that nothing much happens in the first 40 minutes. It is only when you get to know the whole picture that things feel relevant. This is one of Magizh’s better works as a writer, and that is because of the novel-like screenplay which is cleverly translated on screen.
It is also great to see how the director makes terrific use of Arun Vijay’s talent, without actually giving him much space as a ‘hero’. This film would have gone to the gutters if not for the actor’s near-perfect performance, keeping himself in complete control of the proceedings. Arun Vijay’s ability to bring out little variations in the two similar but different characters that he essays, proves his acting potential to the fullest. In a film that requires him to be present in every scene out there, Arun takes the opportunity by the horns and never lets you confuse yourself for noting the wrong person. On the other hand is Vidya Pradeep, who delivers her most memorable act till date. She puts her foot down to play a role that not many actresses would have said yes to, living up to Magizh’s trust in going for a lesser-known face. Fefsi Vijayan, Tanya Hope, Smruthi and the other cop who plays the ‘ettu’ have their moments in check, with different levels of relevance to the storyline.
However, there are some rough edges that could have been straightened out. While Magizh’s channeling of his last venture Meaghamann through a game of chess actually worked out nicely, Thadam’s references to the gambling scene do not gel well. There are a couple of scenes that lack heart, and the film definitely could have gone ahead with better cinematography and music. However, these are little niggles since the value levels of the writing and the performances are above par.
In totality, Thadam is an extremely well-written and neatly made crime drama that has a fair share of worthy moments. Arun Vijay and Magizh Thirumeni have formed a great actor-director pair, a combination that will continue to be looked forward to in the future.