On a rainy night in 2011, Vasu (Ankith Koyya), a youngster who works in a bar is framed as the prime accused in the murder of a cab driver, who is also a police informer. Eight years later, Ramachandra aka Ram (Satyadev Kancharana), a sharp-witted criminal lawyer, who works in a legal firm, shows interest in this case and offers help to prove Vasu’s innocence. Ram’s fiancé Anu (Priyanka Jawalkar) is a practising advocate in the same firm. She along with Sudhakar (Brahmaji) helps Ram to earn the trust of Vasu and crack the case. Beating all odds, how Ram solves the crime, forms the crux of the tale.
As you may already know, this Satyadev Kancharana-starrer is a remake of 2019 Kannada whodunnit, Birbal Trilogy Case 1: Finding Vajramuni. Director Shravan Koppisetty stays true to the original, save for a few digressions that seem unreasonable. What could have been a nerve-racking suspense drama turns out to be an uninspiring thriller.
Thimmarusu is a kind of convenient thriller where you get a suspense and a twist towards the end, but the logic behind this story seems convoluted and hardly exciting. It’s exactly the kind of exaggerated treatment that makes it hard to empathise with these characters or view things seriously.
The film starts off on a chilling note with the horrific murder of a cab driver, who is also a police informer. When an innocent youngster is framed of charges of murder by the police only to ensure that they close the case quickly. In what appears to be an end of the road for the youngster, here comes a quick-witted lawyer, who not only evinces interest to take up the case but also believes that the former is innocent. As the story unfolds, the narration justifies why this film is called Thimmarusu (named after the Prime Minister and wise counsel of Vijayanagara king Sri Krishnadevaraya) and who the culprit, Vali, is.
In the digital era, remaking a successful film from another language can be a risky business as many movie buffs might have watched the original. Even while managing to retain the spirit of the original, the adaptation rarely lives up to the original, comparisons are inevitable and fans of the original don’t forgive you. Sharan, who made his directorial debut with Kirrak Party, does manage quite a bit of authenticity in his settings and characters and there are moments that work well. The director, to an extent, uses Rashomon Effect to examine the crime from different points of views.
However, the storyline doesn’t always hold up or hold your interest all through as the narrative feels inconsistent and never fully satisfying. At times snail-paced and repetitive, the story takes its own sweet time to unfold. It also rushes through Ram’s whole investigation in the end, a portion where a little more patience and detail might have helped to connect the loose ends. Too much detailing about the methodologies used could have been avoided though. The tensity to maintain the suspense till the end and to compensate for the middle portions with entertainment is visible on the faces of the principal cast.
Satyadev is really in good form. He has mastered portraying intense roles and yet again he delivers the goods. He fits perfectly into the role and powers Thimmarusu to gloss over its uneven edges. The character offers Priyanka Jawalkar little to work with. Brahmaji has his moments and he lights up the screen with his comic timing. Ajay and Ankith Koyya are impressive.
Sricharan Pakala has delivered a fascinating background score, while Appu Prabhakar’s camerawork is appealing.
Overall, Thimmarusu isn’t a badly made film, but it’s partly engaging. The film is weighed down by its sloppy editing, lousy writing and inconsistent narration.
Cast: Satyadev Kancharana, Priyanka Jawalkar, Ankith Koyya, Brahmaji
Director: Sharan Koppisetty