Damn Good Intelligent Piece of Writing : Filmmaking Lessons from Thadam

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Tamil cinema has now started generating genuine thrillers that literally tests the IQ of the audience and make them move to the edge of the seat. Following Ratchasan, it is Thadam – starring Arun Vijay in dual roles Directed by Magizh Thirumeni that is spoken wide around.

Mystery Thrillers are not so easy to write and Direct. The audience today are so smart that they easily catch hold of all the defects and outsmart the work of the director. But this man, Magizh Thirumeni has respected that smartness of the audience and has a made a genuine thriller, which is now going well in theatres. His previous films were smart enough too (of which I’m a very great fan), but they didn’t go very well in theatres. But Thadam has hit the target and congratulations team, for that.

Now getting into the film, Thadam is a Whodunit revolving around two characters, both played by Arun Vijay (Ezhil and Kavin). Both of the characters are the suspects here and that is the amazing plot. There is a solid writing in the characters of the film, that makes you travel with the events spun around them. There are too many logical details in the film that keeps us guessing who the killer is.

There are many main aspects of the film. First, the plot is so very interesting and is kind of fresh to Tamil cinema, where two people are the suspects of a murder and both are of the same appearance. This gives an intriguing feel to the audience throughout.

Second, the police investigation is so tight and realistic. There are many setups that are paid off well in the film which also drives a smile around the audience’s face. Here, there is a personal vengeance between the inspector and the protagonist, which justifies too much details in the film. The investigation is lead by a lady police officer, which will never disturb you, given that she doesn’t have the police roughness  but director literally mocks this characteristic of her, as in there is a scene where she would ask who can unlock the door to her sub ordinates, to which after a brief pause, one of them replies everyone can do it. The point here is she is not shown as a ‘female’ cop, but as a proper sub inspector. Feminism is totally driven out of the film and during the course of the movie we can well understand though she is not rough and tough, she has the job because of the brain. The other female characters, the smoking mallu aunty and Sonia Agarwal, Arun Vijay’s mother who Gambles throughout are interesting too. The mallu Aunty’s character is a setup to Sonia Agarwal’s character, so that people won’t feel odd when a lady Gambles around men all the time.

Third, Trust plays a vital role in the film. Everything in the film is spun around trust. Kavin’s life is transformed into this only because he had no trust on his mother. Ezhil trusts his girlfriend no matter what others say. Kavin’s girl, In spite of knowing what he is, trusts him and gives money. The sub inspector has trust towards ezhil and tries to save him. ‘Trust’  everywhere.

As an audience, we, after a point almost find out what the answer for the mystery is and that is what happens in the movie. But the director outsmarted everyone by revealing how and why it happened. His solid writing on this matter made this a very good investigative thriller. Clichés are used smartly by the director. Heroine vanishes after a point in the film when the film gets into the story. Usual , right? But this is what actually happens. Heroine plays a major role throughout, although being absent. This nuance hit me hard.

But I felt few things were placed to cheat us.  It obviously did not affect the flow of the film, but I feel those could’ve been done better. There is an important scene where there is only one evidence to find who the actual killer is, but the evidence accidentally vanishes. That scene was a funny scene where one of the police officer rubs away a fingerprint with his uniform while hitting on a maid. This was odd with the flow of the film. And ‘Akash’ the victim is said to have money in his locker all the time, but there is 12 lakhs missing from his account after his death. This drives us to various thoughts on who the killer is. But then, the money will not be taken or used by any of the killers. But why spin this suspense when there is no scope or use for it. The director could’ve at least justified it later in the film.

But putting all this back, Thadam never fails to amuse you by the way it is written, directed, shot and edited. I’ve always been a fan of Magizh Thirumeni from the start. I wish he continues to do the same in future. Also I wish I work under him soon if I am given a chance ;P .

If you haven’t watched the film, pls do go watch it in theatres, because THADAM is THARAM.

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