Thadam movie review: Arun Vijay, Magizh Thirumeni come together for an engaging murder mystery thriller
In Thadam, Arun Vijay’s characterisation in the film is sure to be liked by his fans as it has shades of two of his popular roles – Victor of Gautham Menon’s Yennai Arindhaal and Thyagu of Mani Ratnam’s Chekka Chivantha Vaanam.
Arun Vijay and director Magizh Thirumeni are back together again after seven years with Thadam, a murder mystery investigative thriller. Their first film together, Thadaiyara Thaakka (2012), was an edge-of-the-seat neo-noir thriller and a bonafide hit. Thadam is an engaging watch especially the last 15 minutes as Thirumeni has based his film on real life stories.
The director has focused on his hero Arun Vijay, who plays a dual role and is a much bigger star today than he was when they did their first film together. In a way, both his characters have heroism and lots of villainy in them. Arun Vijay’s characterisation in the film is sure to be liked by his fans as it has shades of two of his popular roles – Victor of Gautham Menon’s Yennai Arindhaal and Thyagu of Mani Ratnam’s Chekka Chivantha Vaanam.
Ezhil (Arun Vijay) is a civil engineer who is into construction business and drives around in a BMW. He is in love with Deepa (Tanya Hope) who works in an online site. Kavin (Arun Vijay in a double role) is an intelligent thief who knows all the legal points and loopholes and moves around with his friend Surali (Yogi Babu), conning people. He is a compulsive gambler who one day gets into trouble with a gang from whom he had borrowed a huge sum. Meanwhile, a rich NRI gets murdered and the police nab Ezhil as there is a shot of him in a selfie taken by a neighbour. The Inspector (Vijayan) who arrested Ezhil has also a personal score to settle with him.
Enter Kavin who is arrested by cops for drunk driving and kept in the same police station as Ezhil, which creates confusion among the police officers as they are a spitting image of each other. The Inspector asks his junior Malarvizhi (Vidya Pradeep) to investigate the case and find who killed the NRI. Malar cannot find much evidence other than Ezhil and Kavin were identical twins who hate each other due to certain childhood problems. Malar is unable to find who among the twins committed the murder and the case gets dismissed by the court due “to lack of evidence”
The director has structured the narrative like a Hollywood investigative thriller peppered with clues and red herrings that leaves the investigating team confused. Eventually the jigsaw puzzle is put together in the last 15 minutes for those viewing the film. Some smart writing (explained in the end title cards) keeps the guessing game going. Arun Vijay’s performance in a dual role as identical twins kept this 2 hours-18 minutes thriller ticking to a large extent. Vidya Pradeep as the investigative cop is terrific. The drawbacks of the film are its long drawn out flashback portions and nothing really takes place in the first part other than character establishment.
Gopinath’s camera is fantastic as most of the film has been shot in a dinghy police station set with night effects. Gopi had shown the identical twins played by Arun Vijay using different lights and shades without the actor having to spot make-overs. The action scene inside the police station between the twins is very well shot and stunningly realistic.
Thadam is an out-and-out Arun Vijay film. A well made thriller which takes the audiences by surprise in its climax with some twists and turns.
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