Tamil Movie Reviews:

THOOVAANAM-     

Cast: Aditya, Nethra, Banuchander
Music: Isaac Thomas
Direction: Haricharan-Newton
 

Thoovaanam feels like one of those movies( Devadhaiyai Kanden was another one) that was created depending on a single plot point. In other words, the plot point was what the director had in mind first and the rest of the story was then developed to accommodate and present this plot point. Unlike Devadhaiyai Kanden, the plot point here is not hyped or blown out of proportion and is more unexpected and effective because of that. But it is still not enough to fully make up for the weaknesses in the rest of the movie.

Anu(Nethra) was born and brought up in the US and is in Chennai visiting her family friends. Karthi(Aditya), an interior decorator, has been hired to decorate the friend's house and naturally, runs into Anu. He falls for her pretty soon and reveals his feelings to her, only to learn that Anu doesn't reciprocate his feelings. Dejected, he goes as far as trying to take his own life but that makes Anu realize the seriousness of his love and so she begins to like him too.

As mentioned earlier, Thoovanam hinges on a single plot point and the story itself is little more than a means towards the end. The plot point itself is clever and well-handled. It takes the form of a rather innocuous - and at the time, hilarious - point in the opening credits that is linked to a surprising plot development at a later point in the movie. The cleverness and unexpectedness work in its favor and even improve our feelings towards the movie in hindsight. At the same time, it makes us wish the movie had shown the same kind of spark at atleast a few other places.

Aditya and Nethra have little chemistry and so their romance, whether one-sided or mutual, is rather lacklustre. Their meetings and interactions feel forced(the actors' wooden performances have a good part to play in this) and we never really believe that they have feelings for one another. But making a visitor from the US has its advantages. Her outlook on life and on love are a little different from what we've been used to in Tamil cinema and they drive her responses to Aditya's actions. So her actions are not always predictable.

The movie takes a few surprising turns after that. The shades of gray seen in some characters are unexpected and the way other characters respond to this is surprising also. The director doesn't cheat us or take the easy way out and that keeps us interested.

One of the film's biggest weaknesses is its cast. All of them seem stiff (though to varying degrees) and bad acting leads to the characters they play never being convincing. Aditya is the biggest culprit, especially during the romance. After Cheran (Maayakkannaadi) and Narain(Pallikkoodam), he proves once again that it is really difficult to act cute. Nethra is is tall and pretty and impresses, especially since this is her first film. The actress playing her deaf-mute friend is quite stiff too and comes off looking like an amateur. The soundtrack has some nice numbers. Mazhai Nindrum... is a very nice melody and its instrumental version works very well as part of the background score.

 

Courtesy:  - Balaji Balasubramaniam

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