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Thandavam

Director: A L Vijay

A movie is often considered a symphony of the audio & visual medium; and sure enough the auteurs have always striven to tread on a path between the said & the unsaid in order to keep us in a trance. To achieve that feat in Thandavam, a self-proclaimed unusual revenge saga of a blind man, A L Vijay employs everything in the rule book & that could precisely be the reason for its inability to interest us.

Looking at Thandavam on the whole, the crucial problem with the film clearly lies in its immature treatment. Sure the premise of the action thriller is something even an infrequent film viewer would appreciate of. But when the film sets out to express itself, what clearly could be and had been registered through the visuals gets re-registered again and again till one feels nauseated by the events. As this redundancy gradually distances the audience for the silver screen, the age old formulas to invoke emotions becomes too tiresome & juvenile to warrant our attention.


Close to the release of the film, a trailer was released by the Thandavam team. Splashed all over the media, it started off with a song sequence followed by a caption stating ‘a love story’. It was then followed by snippets of the film’s different scenes with subsequent captions like ‘a story of friendship’, ‘family story’, ‘revenge story’, ‘fun story’, etc; and at the end of the trailer, they claimed it to be ‘a complete entertainer’. As any Actor Vijay or Salman Khan film goes by, the trailer simply shells out varied ideas and values like how the 27 states displays its props during the Independence Day parade. As demeaning as it could be to call it entertainment, the trailer otherwise is a perfect showcase for what the film stands for.  The film begins as action thriller interlaced with unintentional comedy, at the midpoint of which it discards that & becomes a complete romantic film. Long past the expiry date of the romance when the movie limps towards the end, it suddenly gets the urge to be a revenge saga again. All this while the main selling point of the film that the protagonist is a visually impaired person, is used only as a second rate prop. With such obscurity looming large on the screen, one wonders who really is the visually impaired – the writer or the protagonist.

This review was written for Wogma.

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