“Thadam”… A pulpy whodunit that puts a spin on its double-role premise and keeps you guessing

Posted on February 28, 2019

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Spoilers ahead…

Read the full review on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/thadam-movie-review-a-pulpy-whodunit-that-keeps-you-guessing-baradwaj-rangan-arun-vijay/

In Thadam, writer-director Magizh Thirumeni puts a new spin on one of the oldest masala-cinema tropes: the double role. Whether with Sivaji Ganesan (Uthamaputhiran) or MGR (Ninaithathai Mudippavan) or Rajinikanth (Billa) or Kamal Haasan (Aalavandhan), the twin performances have hinged on a difference: one is good, the other is evil. Also, sometimes, one is rich, the other is poor. There’s definitely an economic disparity between the two characters Arun Vijay plays here, Ezhil and Kavin. The former drives a BMW. The latter robs ATMs with his sidekick Suruli (Yogi Babu, once again mocked for his unconventional looks and made to do “I am B.Com. Literature”-type comedy). But there’s no good/evil demarcation. Neither Kavin nor Ezhil is exactly a moral person, but they’re both treated sympathetically, painted in “circumstances made me this way” shades.

The film takes a while to get going. Owing to the focused second half, a lot of the romance — between Ezhil and Deepika (Tanya Hope) — is packed into the early portions. (Deepika seems to be a film critic. Her line about quitting her job because she’s tired of reviewing six films a week made me smile wistfully.) But as we slowly discover, this isn’t just throwing the audience a duet because “they demand it and we need a song for the promos”. What looks like a minor romantic track turns out to be the crux of the narrative, which really gets going after a murder. In the usual “twins story”, one of the two would have committed the crime, and the other one would end up the suspect, being chased by the police. But what are the odds that Kavin and Ezhil end up suspects! The premise is pulp pleasure.

Continued at the link above.

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Posted in: Cinema: Tamil