Film: Tharangam; Director: Dominic Arun, Cast: Tovino Thomas, Balu Varghese, Santhi Balachandran
Debutant Dominic Arun’s Tharangam begins on a very quirky note wherein we are introduced to God, played by Dileesh Pothan, engaged in a conversation with the infamous thief, Kallan Pavithran. In a language that sounds like gibberish, the boho-looking God takes us through the tale of a bunch of people caught during their big blunder. Tharangam is spun around such a wacky premise.
Padmanabhan (Tovino Thomas) and Joy (Balu Varghese) are two cops who face suspension after their mission goes wrong and they end up killing a colleague. Already burdened by debt, the duo takes up the assignment to snoop on Omana Varghese, a woman entrepreneur suspected of having an extra-marital affair by her husband. But their plans go awry.
The interactions between the two disgraced cops, not exactly known for their IQ, naturally provides a scope for humour which the director exploits to the hilt. There are enough light moments and twists to keep us engaged. Much of the story is about how they try to untangle the mess they have created. Some of the sequences remind us of the ‘confusion comedy’ that was a big part of films made by directors like Priyadarshan.
What makes Tharangam very unique is its narrative style. It manages to blend in fantasy and realism, and it should be interesting to see how the vast majority of the viewers respond to this experiment.
On occasion, the narrative does turn convoluted. There are one too many characters, too many twists. Is it the complexity of the script? Or did the makers bite off more than they could chew? But all said, there’s no doubt that making a movie like Tharangam needs courage. Dominic Arun, his crew, and the producers need to be appreciated for taking the risk.
The film also introduces a bunch of impressive performances from plenty of newcomers like Santhy Balachandran, Neha Iyer, Shammy Thilakan, Saiju Kurup and Manoj K Jayan. Tovino and Balu are, without doubt, in their best form. Ultimately, Tharangam may not be for everybody, but it’s important to recognise that the people who’ve come up with this film may well go on to bring a new lease of life to Malayalam cinema.