Tamil Movie Reviews:

Thullal துள்ளல்     

Cast: Praveenkanth, Gurlin Chopra, Sonika, Vivek, Seetha, Manicka Vinayagam, Sumitra
Music: Dhina 
Direction: Praveenkanth

Quite a few directors have been bitten by the acting bug recently. Unfortunately there have been a lot more failures than successes in such ventures. Praveenkanth, the director of films like Jodi and Star, who took on a key role in Star, has now turned full-fledged hero with Thullal. Not only does the film increase the ratio of failure to success in this category of films, it figures among the bottom of the pile with its lack of a coherent storyline, poor characterization and constant vulgarity.

Cheenu(Praveenkanth) is a playboy, whose only aim in life is to sleep with any woman he sets his heart on. They are useless to him after his deed is done and he discards them without a second thought. He sets his sights on Sruthika(Gurlin Chopra), woos her and she falls for him and succumbs to his desires. Rudely dumped by him after that, Sruthika goes to an abortion clinic where the receptionist Gayatri(Sonika) advises her to go to the police and lodge a complaint about Cheenu. Sruthika doesn't follow her advice but Cheenu, who sees Gayatri's tirade against him, vows to put her in the same situation as Sruthika.

It is pretty clear who Praveenkanth's role model is - S.J.Suryah. Emboldened to play a hero though clearly unsuitable for it, Praveenkanth has selected a story that allows him to incorporate vulgarity and glamour, hoping that what worked for Suryah in New would work for him too (his role too is pretty similar to the role Suryah played in Kalvanin Kaadhali). But while Suryah wrapped the sex in an complete package with good comedy, a new storyline, the ever-popular 'mother sentiment' and good music, Praveenkanth has banked solely on sex and vulgarity to carry the movie. Naturally, it doesn't work and film comes off as egotistic,cheap and completely distasteful.

Praveenkanth casts himself as someone who treats women with complete disdain. But for that to be effective - for us to despise him - the movie needs somebody who earns our sympathy. Unfortunately, the most likely candidate for that, Gurlin, is modelled as someone so dumb that she earns our irritation rather than sympathy. While falling for Praveenkanth after just 2 meetings(where he comes across as cheap, indecent and completely flaky) is by itself foolish, her acts in the second half(like not revealing his identity and then trusting him again) paint her as someone whose IQ is in the single digits. Sonika doesn't fare much better. Inspite of all the hue and cry against guys and romance, she falls for exactly the same, obviously fake MO that Gurlin fell for.

The hero being a playboy is simply used as an excuse to introduce vulgarity. Almost every other line in Praveenkanth's conversations with his friends is a double entendre and even romantic talks he has with the heroines are not spared of those. The dialogs at the abortion clinic are particularly distasteful and the movie manages to insult pretty much everyone - women, lovers, doctors, etc. While comedy tracks usually follow the nature of the rest of the movie, Vivek's comedy track actually comes as a relief to the movie's constant barrage of vulgarity. It is not completely clean and and it not consistently funny but it does generate a few laughs without resorting to vulgarity. It starts off strong with the Autograph take-off but slows down after that as Vivek's phone conversations with Dr.Mathrubootham stretch a one-joke affair too long. But things do get funnier after Vivek gets hitched and some voodoo enters the picture.

The morbid setting and the strong dialogs make the climax quite effective. The seriousness is a little jarring after the light tone of the film so far but it is welcome. The fact that its not completely predictable is a good thing too.

The fact that the second half of his name is the same as Rajnikanth's has apparently led Praveenkanth to think that he occupies the same position in Tamil cinema as Rajni. With jackets, coolers and punch dialogs, he tries to do everything that current heroes do. Unfortunately, the fact that he actually looks more like Goundamani makes his attempts look silly. Gurlin and Sonika fare about the same. Sonia impresses us more since she has a stronger character but Gurlin makes up some lost ground towards the end. Seetha, Manicka Vinayagam and Sumitra barely have any screen time with Seetha in a particularly sad role of a doctor at the abortion clinic(she doesn't perform any abortions on Valentine's day though!).

Courtesy:  Balaji Balasubramaniam