Direction: Rajesh M Selva
Cast: Kamal Hassan, Trisha, Prakash Raj, Kishore, Sampath Raj, Madhu Shalini
Music: M. Ghibran
Cinematographer: Sanu Varughese
Editor: Shan Mohammed
What is it about: A narcotics officer Diwakar (Kamal Hassan) gets entangled trying to rob a local drug lord Vittal Rao (Prakash Raj), who kidnaps Diwakar’s son Aman Abdullah as ransom to get his drugs back. This films is an official remake of a French film “Nuit Blanche (Sleepless Nights)” by Fredric Jardin, the Tamil version is directed by Rajesh Selva.
Why it’s disappointing: I hardly felt disappointed, except for the last scene post climax, which I felt seemed unnecessary. Still the makers will have a reason of their own for that scene.
What to watch out for: Remakes are pretty tricky thing to do, as they require to preserve the essence of original or out do the original. When the task gets to this, most of the remakes fall on their face trying to compete. “Thoongaavanam” overcomes the hurdle with Kamal Hassan handling the screenplay and Rajesh Selva directing it with utmost caution.
If you had seen the original French version you can in fact analyse the scenes and see how well the Tamil version was remade. When it comes to add spice to a subject no one can do that well, than our filmmakers as they are experts in adding spice.
The movie has a great pace, which slightly takes a breath which might seem like a lag but the way it travels, makes it up for the lag. It is most definitely a racy screenplay, which doesn’t deflect from its motive and keeps moving forward with no distraction of songs or item numbers.
Kamal Hassan nails the character Diwakar with elan, as if it was tailor made for him. He is one actor who we can picture playing potential Hollywood characters from famous franchise. At 61 he still steals the show regardless of it being an action, romance or drama.
Trisha for once I can say did a great job, as she’s been in mindless roles for quite some time. She looked crisp in those swanky blazers clad with well fitted trousers topped with aviators, a look which was derived well by the costume designer Gautami. Trisha was really good in the action sequences and nailed few portions with great style.
Prakash Raj was remarkable, he can mix comedy with villanism like it’s a child’s play. He did a commendable job as Vittal Rao.
Aman Abdullah who played the role of Kamal’s son as Vasu did a great job, he was a natural and didn’t seem like he was acting. He fitted the bill aptly which portrayed the kid exactly from the original.
Madhu Shalini appeared as a surprise, and she gets registered pretty well with her sweet and innocent attire. She had a short stint and did a good job, her lip lock with Kamal Hassan will be a talk for some time, but trust me it was not a forced one like most movies do, was apt for the sequence.
Kishore did a great job as Dhiraviyam, who uncovered his character layers quite well. This was well supported by Yugi Sethu as Mani, Sampath Raj as Pedha Babu, Jagan, Uma Riyaz Khan, Asha Sarath and Guru Somasundaram who brings in good laughs.
The cinematography by Sanu John Varghese was edgy, as the majority of the movie is within closed environment which was perfectly captured in and out giving a great viewing experience, which in fact is required for a thriller of this sort. Editing by Shan Mohammed was crisp and kept it tight for most of it.
Ghibran seems like the current favourite for Kamal Hassan and he’s been continuously proving himself with great output. The background score was awesome so did the music video “Neeye Unakku Raja” during credits, which had a metal genre sung by Kamal Hassan and Aishvarrya Suresh.
All these technicalities were well supported by crisp and pounding sound design by Kunal Ranjan, which hits your hard without disturbing your ear drums with the right effect. The VFX team did a great job, their work can be recognized if the makers come out with a making video, as many scenes were created really well.
The action was tastefully done with meticulous choreography, which had a natural feel to it, and was for once good to watch. The kitchen action sequence of Kamal-Kishore and Kamal-Trisha was precise.
Verdict: Rajesh cut out a racy thriller, fuelled by Kamal’s intriguing screenplay which was angled well by Sanu John with Ghibran edging the score supported by a great ensemble of cast.