Thallumaala Review: A thoroughly entertaining fun ride
It is not often that you come across a film in Malayalam that’s as ambitious as Thallumaala. The ambitiousness is not in terms of the scale or budget. It’s a first-of-its-kind attempt with regards to how the film has been catered to mainly the 2K crowd. The whole film is designed somewhat like an Insta reel. First, you get a teaser of what’s about to come and then the actual show. It’s easy to dismiss a film like ‘Thallumaala’ as just another ‘style over substance’ outing. But here, the style has a purpose. There’s a lot of thought that has gone behind the shot divisions and edits. It’s unique, zangy and entertaining.
‘Thallumaala’ is rightly titled ‘Ballad of Brawls’ in English. The film is basically about the various encounters of Wasim (Tovino) and his gang of friends. They’re the typical angry young men (not the Amitabh Bachchan-kind). Pitted against them is Reji (Shine Tom Chacko) and his bunch. Rage and ego runs in their blood, and all hell will lose even with the slightest of provocations. Take for example, this scene where a major fight breaks out in a mosque just because two young men stare at each other.
‘Thallumaala’ has a rather shallow plot but writers Muhsin Parari and Ashraf Hamza try to mask it with a non-linear screenplay. Though it might appear too hazy and complex in the beginning, things get better as the narrative progresses. The film has an uniqueness stamped all over it, be it the scene staging, cinematography, lighting or the stylized edits. Best of all is the music and fights. The film has several stunt scenes but the most memorable among them is the two major set pieces, one inside the theatre and the other at a wedding venue. These fights are mindblowingly well choreographed and will be spoken about for long.
Tovino is perfectly suited for Manavalan Wasim’s role and the actor has given his best for it. It is probably the first time in his career that the actor has attempted to dance and it has come out quite well. Similarly his performance in the fight scenes is worth a mention. Lukman, who plays Jasim, gets a solid role and the youngster proves his mettle. His flexibility in the fights were a treat to the eyes.
These days, it has become a habit for Shine Tom Chacko to ‘shine’ brightly in a multi-starrer. The actor is terrific here as well as he switches shades effortlessly. With him around, you always sense of danger but he ends up doing the exact opposite. Reji is an unpredictable character and there are not many actors who could have pulled it off like Shine.
To put in simply, ‘Thallumaala’ succeeds in what it intended. It’s a cracker of an entertainer that has all the elements for the youth audience to celebrate.