What Thirumanam Ennum Nikkah successfully does – thanks to its ambiguous trailer – is create an illusion about the plot. There are quite a few Islamic motifs and references in the movie: the (misleading) title, the credits that roll up in faux Arabic font; and even a 45-minute sequence shot around Ramzan, and a Muslim family. Heck, there’s even a colourful, festive number, eerily similar to this track from Bombay – at least in theory.
Who is Muslim here, though? Not Vijay Raghavachari (Jai). Vishnu Priya (Nazriya Nazim) isn’t one either. They hail from staunch Vaishnavite families. So staunch that their mothers are nary seen without a madisaar in every frame and the fathers remain grim and stony over a copy of The Hindu (groan). There’s even the delightful in-house paati whose constant refrain is “pottu enga?” and variations of it, and who, in that charming tongue of paatis, tells a colleague on the phone that her granddaughter is “taking bath. Call after five minutes”.
But then, those tiny redeemable instances of humour vanish quickly (Pandiarajan appears in a hilarious cameo), and there’s nothing to distract us from the plot. Raghavan and Vishnu Priya – by a cruel twist of fate, and a (terribly-written) case of mistaken identity – think the other is Muslim. They are madly in love with each other, and quite taken by the idea of embracing Islam. Vishnu Priya buys a burqua, tries to knit her eyebrows together with a pencil, and generally pesters her colleague about Islamic culture while Jai goes all the way to Royappetah, gains the trust of a respected religious leader in the area and enters his tutelage. And all the while, they masquerade as Abu “Bucker” and Ayesha with each other.
All this notwithstanding, there’s also a parallel track about a lecherous colleague (Raghavan comes to the rescue, and parts with some irrefutable logic: Why didn’t you wear the burqua, he questions, idhellam nadanthurukadhula?), a Muslim girl who falls for Raghavan, and an unnecessary chase sequence.
What probably makes it worse is the tiring second half. Raghavan and Vishnu Priya finally discover that they belong to the same religion after all; but they are extremely unhappy about it.
Such a sheer waste of such Islamic finery. Really.
The Thirumanam Enum Nikkah review is a Silverscreen original article. It was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the movie. Silverscreen.in and its writers do not have an advertising relationship with movies that are reviewed on the site.