Friday, November 27, 2015

Thoongavanam (2016)

We are die-hard Kamal fans and were waiting fervently for the release of the much awaited Kamal Haasan starrer Thoongavanam, a replica of the French version Sleepless Nights. I had just got back from my trip to the beautiful Heritage town, Thalassery in Kerala. The rains had lashed the city and I was worried this might ruin our movie plans. Luck was on our side and the evening plans went smoothly without a hitch. Over a bag of pop-corn, cold coffee, bhel puri and Bombay sev puri, we walked in with great satisfaction to watch our idol in action.

Diwakar, (Kamal Haasan) is an undercover cop from the Narcotics Bureau who is out to get one of his own men Mani (Yuhi Sethu) red handed, who he knows is involved in a drug racket. All hell breaks loose when Mani shoots  a guy during a drug transaction and leaves a trail. Enters Mallika (the boring, aging Trisha) as the Forensics Expert in a formal costume who opens the Pandora's box. Mani tries hard to persuade his partner Diwakar, to make a bargain with the scary owl eyed drug lord, played by Prakash Raj (Vittal Rao), owner of the nightclub Insomniac, to whom the drug bag belongs and incurs his wrath.  Vittal kidnaps Diwakar's son Vasu (the very cute talented Aman Abdullah) until his bag is returned. While his son is put through a little Chinese torture, Diwakar goes to the club and hides the bag in the men's toilet. Mallika notices the bag and quietly moves the bag to the ladies section. All hell breaks loose from here. Diwakar while trying to get his son in one piece realises the bag is gone and a chase in the club ensues.

Kamal shines in his performance. His experience, passion, and life he breathes in his character is impressive. At 60, the actor brings such a class act to his role and the editing with close-ups to the smaller details of this character adds enormous value.  As usual, he finds a pretty lass to lip-lock with on the pretext of escaping from the evil men in chase. Aman who plays his son does a fantastic job for a first timer. He is cute, endearing and an understanding son who wants his father's affection as much as he admires him.

Trisha cannot act by nature. She is meant to be a beautiful photogenic prop. Along with age and lack of talent, putting her in a plum role in this movie was simply unimaginable. In one close-up fight sequence with Kamal, she looks like she is laughing when she should be in a lot of pain. Yuhi was disappointing. Sampath did not have much to do and Prakash Raj was plain boring doing his usual villainous role. With an actor like Kamal at the helm, unless all the supporting cast bring in a certain level of performance, the film can slow you down.

The movie is considered a box-office flop but as movie goers who enjoy good interesting storyline, this one did not disappoint us. It moved at a decent pace and we just could not get enough of our man - not to mention he has given his voice for the sound track and just killed it with his performance!

It was thoongavanam, sleepless nights for the three of us after that movie night!

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