Thinkalazhcha Nishchayam Review: Well-crafted family satire powered by excellent performances
The screen opens with a wide shot of two men, whose having drinks, in a roadside waiting shed. It is pitch dark and we don’t get to see their faces. Their fun session is interrupted by a police jeep. Naturally, we expect the cops to arrest them or at the very least yell at them. But the officer is friendly enough to ask them what brand they are having. He enquires about the route to a Kuwait returnee named Vijayan’s house. This is the scene of action. Much of the film is centered in this house, where Vijayan, his wife and Suja, their younger daughter reside.
So Vijayan is this expat who romanticizes the dictatorship in Kuwait. His character is very established easily with this one quality alone. He basically tries to employ the same dictatorship in his family as well. He fixes the marriage of his daughter Suja against her will. He doesn’t pay heed to her concerns as he is adamant that he won’t repeat the same mistake he did with his elder daughter. We learn that Vijayan is still unhappy with Suja’s sister Surabhi getting married out of her own choice. Vijayan is the perfect representation of a normal Malayali patriarch, who lays the rules and wants others to live by it.
‘Thinkalazhcha Nischayam’, which translates to ‘Monday betrothal’ is set around the two days that lead up to Suja’s engagement. The narrative evolves around the various interesting incidents that happen over these two days. With the arrival of new family members, the film becomes more interesting as each character is sketched realistically.
Anyone who has ever been ever to a middle-class Malayali family function would be able to relate to whatever’s shown in the film. Director Senna Hegde’s biggest strength is this ability to keep it real. Right from the writing, making and performances, everything in the film is lifelike and authentic. The film is a deftly crafted satire as it takes jibes on the society’s hypocrisies at various points. All the characters in the film are sketched in broad strokes of grey and rip them off the usual ‘naatin puram nanma’ image.
‘Thinkalazhcha Nishchayam’ also has to be one of the most funniest films to have come out in Malayalam in a long time. The humour here is not cooked up or on the face. It is the good-old situational comedy that we’re used to seeing in our everyday lives. An unforgettably hilarious scene is when the police officer reads a letter stuffed with verses from movie songs. The unassuming cop doesn’t realize this and is impressed with the poetic language. In a regular film, this is bound to be a very emotional scene but here, the treatment is such that the humour arises out of unusual moments.
Lion’s share of the credits goes to the actors also, most of whom are fresh faces. None of them seem like they are new to cinema as they all perform like seasoned artists. Manoj KU, the actor who played the character Vijayan, is the ‘find of the film’ as he carries the whole film quite effortlessly on his shoulders. With a finely measured performance, he makes sure that Vijayan is neither the despicable father nor the doting dad. He is somewhere in between. He is like most of us.
In short, ‘Thinkalazhcha Nishchayam’ is a thorough entertainer that deserves to be watched with families for the relatablity factor alone.