Director: Roopesh Peethambaran
Cast: Dulquer Salman, Sreenivasan, Shikha Nair
Thriller narratives work like jigsaw puzzles. The writer hands over each of the puzzle pieces to the audience over the duration of the movie, keeping the vital part, which gives the complete picture, for the end. What if you are given all the pieces half way through the movie, so you complete the puzzle and then spend the latter half watching a slow-motion video of the picture being formed? That is how Theevram works.
Roopesh Peethambaran’s debut venture is a story of revenge. However, first you get the revenge and then the reason. The film takes you straight into the middle of two murders, the first establishes the characters of the two policemen (Sreenivasan and Vinay Fort) and the other drives the movie.
Harshavardhan (Dulquer Salman) is an MBBS dropout and an aspiring musician. But to see that side of him, one has to wait till the second half.
The first half sees him in the avatar of a clinical murderer, who is an expert in covering his tracks. He cuts, slashes, and throws up enough blood and gore to shock regular Malayalam movie audience. The narration, pacing, and the colour tones, all ooze with the influence of the cinema from across the seas.
The film sets a racy pace till interval. But, in the second half, the writer ties himself in knots in trying to keep the interest alive, having revealed all that was there to reveal.
There is a shift in colour tones and in the entire mood of the film, which can be quite disconcerting.
The idea that Theevram seems to convey is that when you fail to get justice from the system, it is up to you to grab it through other means, a la Rang De Basanti . Towards the climax, there is a fervent plea for capital punishment, a jab at ‘rarest-of-rare-case’ arguments, and a tirade against rights activists. Of course, positions easy to place oneself in, free of all nuances.
All said and done, Theevram is a star vehicle, relying on Dulquer’s charisma to take it through and he does carry it off decently well. Anu Mohan in a negative role dazzles. Shikha Nair, the leading lady, disappoints.
The support cast of Vishnu Raghav and Riya Saira (of 22 Female Kottayam ), have done a good job.
For a debut film, Roopesh Peethambaran deserves some credit for keeping the interest alive at least till the interval. Preserving some of the rage, revenge, and a piece of the puzzle for the end could have worked wonders for the film.