Director: Harish Ram LH
Cast: Darshan, KPY Dheena, Keerthi Pandian
If there is something of vital importance in cinema, the impact of the final few frames score very high on the meter. They may not elevate a mediocre film or launch one on the expressway to box office success or to be classified as high art, but they certainly make an impression – one that often influences its word of mouth saleability. For Thumba, first time director Harish Ram LH decides on laugh out loud humour. A one-liner to trump the rest that occur in the movie – something that effortlessly connects its characters and places them in a funny cultural context. The joke is vivid, not brilliant to be sure, but clever enough to give pause and delivered with such easy confidence that it has everyone laughing out of the theatre. It’s this quality that is hard to achieve especially with a relatively unknown comedian, but Thumbaa does it not once but several times through the film.
KPY Dheena as Umapathy, a painter in search of work, is quick with wit and his comic timing is near perfect. The humour doesn’t grate as it often does with a new cast trying their best to entertain, and is certainly not abrasive or abusive. That’s another thing about Thumbaa – which revolves around the (mis)adventures of three people who find themselves in a jungle on different missions – the explosion of new faces doesn’t quite overwhelm you. The characters that matter are few, and the rest are of little significance in the larger scheme of things.
Quite simply put, Thumbaa doesn’t ask much of itself or the audience. A simple plot with a smattering of CG animals including a monkey that seems far too clever and a tiger that seems to just intuitively know who the bad guys are, it’s one made more for the kids than the parents who accompany them. For instance, a wounded tiger attacks and razes down all thugs as Varsha (Keerthi Pandian) holds its cub; there seems to be an unspoken understanding between the leads and the tiger which doesn’t harm them. Hari (Darshan) and Umapathy arrive in Topslip on a painting assignment while Varsha wants to photograph the tiger which is said to have escaped from another state into the forests of Tamil Nadu. Some dubious transactions later, the three journey together to spot the tiger, and while doing so, stumble upon things that they were not meant to see. What follows is a metaphorical cat and mouse chase with some real animals thrown in between. At 138 minutes, Thumbaa isn’t a stretch if you discount the song sequences – one with Jayam Ravi who also says a few lines about tiger conservation no less – but even those are mercifully short and end before you could fish for your phone.
The Thumbaa review is a Silverscreen original article. It was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the film. Silverscreen.in and its writers do not have any commercial relationship with movies that are reviewed on the site.