Thirumanam review: Cheran's take on modern day weddings is tiring and soap-opera like
Cheran is one director who has made clean, heartwarming, feel-good family dramas rooted in Tamil Nadu's middle class milieu. But he seems to have lost touch with it with his latest film Thirumanam, which is about conducting a big fat modern day Tamil wedding. It lacks the emotion that one usually associates with a Cheran film and is outdated in treatment and presentation.
As the title says, the film revolves around modern day weddings and the amount of money spent by families to make them look grand. The message that Cheran wants to convey is that in the good old times, a wedding was kept to the basics and it was a more private gathering, while today it has become a glitzy affair. Many middle class families borrow money and spend lakhs to conduct the marriage in style, often ignoring the degree of compatibility in the couple. A lawyer appears from nowhere and tells Cheran. “Coimbatore has the highest divorce rate due to sexual incompatibility among newly married couples”.
Mahesh (Umapathy Ramiah) is a popular radio jockey who falls in love with his Facebook fan Aathira (Kavya Suresh). They talk to each other on social media and soon, meet formally in a coffee shop and decide that they should get parental clearance before going forward. Aathira lives with her elder brother Arivudainambi (Cheran), an upright Income Tax officer, a widowed mother and an uncle (Thambi Ramiah). Mahesh lives with his elder sister Manonmani (Sukanya) who is 10 years older than him and an uncle (MS Bhaskar) who looks after their family concerns. The families agree to the marriage but have a difference of opinion on how the marriage should be conducted. A conflict arises between Arivudainambi who wants a simple marriage without wasting money on unnecessary wedding cards, luxurious marriage halls or lavish feasts. Manomani says she is from a Zamindar family and wants to conduct the wedding royally in style and invite over 2000 people and make it an event. The lovers are torn between their loyalty to their families and their love for each other.
Cheran has also added two sub plots to the story, used as examples to justify the message the film wants to convey. One is about Cheran senior (Jayaprakash), who took a hefty loan from money lenders to celebrate his daughter’s wedding. In the end, he had to compromise at work to pay back the amount and was subsequently jailed for corruption. Then there is one parallel story on how how city-bred IT professionals are getting into organic farming.
All these sub plots and songs make it a tiring wedding at 2 hours and 36 minutes. Performance-wise there is nothing much to talk about. Cheran has many lengthy dialogues and songs to convey the message that he wants to which tests our patience. The story hardly has any conflict as it is Cheran’s view point on modern day weddings. The film has a preachy tone and looks more like a mega serial.
Updated Date: Mar 02, 2019 11:59:04 IST