Tamil Movie Reviews:

THAVAM தவம்     

Cast: Arunkumar, Vandana, Arpitha, Vadivelu, Kalairani 
Music: Imman 
Direction: Sakthi Paramesh

Though known as the 'Action King', Arjun hasn't restricted himself to just action movies. While he has admittedly starred in mostly action flicks, as director, he has made romances like Vedham too. For his own production, he has again opted for a romance. Though the film starts off differently, it soon reveals itself to be just another variation of one our most popular stories.

Subramanian(Arunkumar) and Sumathi(Vandana) have their own share of problems - he's just been cheated off a big sum of money while she's being forced into an unwanted marriage - and so have chosen to end their lives. They meet just before plunging to their deaths(in a scene very reminiscent of the start of Punnagai Mannan) but decide to go back to Subramanian's room instead and consume sleeping pills for a less painful death. Luckily, they're saved but find themselves separated when they regain consciousness. Subramanian, who now has a good job, starts looking for her but his manager's daughter Madhumita(Arpitha) falls for him and is determined to get her man.

While lovers committing suicide is usually the end for a movie, Thavam starts off with two people contemplating suicide. Though there's no real suspense - considering they're the hero and heroine, does anyone think they will actually die?! - it gives the movie a different start. The two come to die but that is when they actually start living and that is a nice concept. But once they do start living, the movie turns into a routine, separated-lovers' tale.

A few coincidences are acceptable - maybe, even necessary - for a screenplay. But Thavam's screenplay is almost entirely built on coincidences and that makes it tiring. One can accept that Arunkumar and Vandana pick the same exact place and time for commiting suicide since that's the starting point for the whole story. But then we get a series of events (Arun attends a wedding and Vandana happens to be getting married in the same hall; Arpitha sees Arun fighting and she happens to be his boss' daughter; Vandana goes for an interview and it happens to be at the same company Arpitha is working for) that are acceptable individually but seem rather unlikely to happen when seen as a whole. So it gives the impression that the director is simply taking the easy way out by using fate rather than some credible plot points, to move the screenplay along.

But after all the hullabaloo about suicide and starting a new life together, the movie eventually reveals itself to be one of those Kaadhal Koattai clones. With the hero and heroine looking for each other and a second heroine pining after the hero, Thavam resembles Kaadhal Koattai even more closely than those other movies (like Indru Mudhal, Ice, Unnai Paartha Naal Mudhal, to name a few). We get the usual close calls and near misses as Arun and Vandana cross each other within minutes of each other and a whole bunch of characters who, inadvertently or intentionally, make sure that the two don't run into each other. Among these characters, Arun's mother and uncle make a particularly irritating duo and their abrupt, meaningless change of heart is laughable when it happens.

Arunkumar, who has been christened 'Rising Star, is still searching for his own Sethu but this is not it. He's gotten himself a new hairstyle but his character doesn't give him any opportunities to show if his acting skills have improved. Vandana looks better than many of the new heroines we see these days but that impression lasts only until the song where she tries some glamorous dresses and dances. Arpitha is stuck in the thankless role of the other woman and adds nothing special to the role. Vadivelu sinks rather low for the unconnected comedy track where he appears as a thief. Possible opportunities for laughs(there should be some in the (mis)adventures of an inept thief) are squandered as the movie goes for the lowest common denominator. Imman comes up with one melodious number in Kannadaasaa... but the rest of the songs are forgettable.


Courtesy:  - Balaji Balasubramaniam