MALAYALAM cinema seems to be caught up in an endless loop of chauvinistic outbreaks and Prithviraj’s latest outing Thanthonni makes no exception. The wornout story of the rich rogue is over played and the bleak and unconvincing plot lacks geniality.
The film makes an uneven concoction of comedy, drama and action, the excess of which very often overrides the already weak script.
Thanthonni revolves around the brat Kochu Kunju (Prithviraj), the youngest of ultra rich Vadakkan Veettil family. How he faces the animosity of the big joint family and finally earns back every right of his forms the core of the plot. The script lacks novelty and you can’t help seeing glimpses of a couple of iconic screen characters in the unruly hero of Thanthonni.
An outcast hero, an all-suffering mother, a problem childhood and the underworld ties take you back to some visited vistas in Malayalam cinema.
Even the don in disguise track revealed in the second half fails to give the jolt as we have earlier seen the same thread treated with much finesse.
Prithvi’s neo stylish avatar in designer suits and high-end cars easily makes Thanthonni into the genre of all-style-and-no-stuff films. Moreover, most of the times the hero opens his mouth only to utter punch lines. Though T A Shahid’s script is a perfect attempt at overplay, Prithvi provides some light and entertaining moments with his natural flair. Though they lack perfect timing and spontaneity the first few scenes with Suraj Venjaramoodu are watchable.
The film has a heroine for namesake in the form of Sheela Kaur whose role often seems unnecessary and out of place. Her only role in the film is limited to a gimcrack song sequence and some other scenes which could have easily been avoided without hurting the storyline. But a film like Thanthonni requires the hero to have a heroine even if she happens to look like a lifeless painted doll and has no major role in the development of plot. Ambika’s customary mother character is passable and so is Sai Kumar. While a talented actress like Bindu Panicker is wasted in her utmost marginal role, Jagathy has a short but noticeable stint.
The technical department is an absolute washout and does nothing to salvage the film. Almost all visuals are conventional and monotonous and the cinematographer makes no attempt at experimenting. The compulsive action sequences are loud and flashy but lack the tempo and oomph.
Tej Mervin’s background score misfires at all possible options and makes the biggest let down of the film.
George Varghese, the debutant director, seems to be under the impression that an overdose of all ingredients make the right recipe for a hit and the film ends up as a mediocre potboiler tailor-made for Prithvi fans. The film could have been much watchable had it not been for the shoddy overplay and second-rate execution.