‘Thank You’ movie review: A dull note of gratitude

Naga Chaitanya, Raashi Khanna and Malvika Nair aren’t enough to salvage this middling narrative

July 22, 2022 03:17 pm | Updated 09:51 pm IST

Naga Chaitanya in ‘Thank You’

Naga Chaitanya in ‘Thank You’

Thank You, with the story by B V S Ravi and directed by Vikram Kumar, rides on a one-line premise — of a successful man being compelled to reminisce his journey thus far and express his gratitude to friends and foes who have shaped his life. It is a simple, straightforward story and holds no major surprises. Thank You is aesthetic in its presentation and has a talented cast that includes Naga Chaitanya, Raashi Khanna and Malvika Nair, among others. 

First the merits. Thank You has a protagonist with grey shades, not a squeaky clean hero. Abhiram’s (Naga Chaitanya) is a classic underdog story. We first see him through the eyes of Priya (Raashi Khanna). She, along with placement consultant Rao (Prakash Raj), are the anchors for Abhiram who arrives at the JFK international airport, with an insatiable hunger to achieve. 

Abhiram is a character we are likely to see around us — achievers who rise with sheer grit and hard work. However, a strong streak of arrogance soon gets the better of Abhiram. His increasingly self-centred approach prevents him from acknowledging those who have helped him grow. The cold, grim winter of the region mirrors the kind of person Abhiram has become. The narrative gets it right in the portions where it unravels Abhiram’s shrewd, selfish nature. Chaitanya shifts easily from the hardworking aspirant to the ruthless CEO. In her brief part, Raashi plays a mature and stifled woman with conviction. 

Thank You
Cast: Naga Chaitanya, Raashi Khanna, Malvika Nair
Direction: Vikram Kumar
Music: Thaman S

A turn of events forces Abhiram to introspect and the narrative uses the staid tool of him having conversations with his alter ego! How much we empathise with Abhiram’s journey depends on whether we give in to the idea of these conversations.  

When the story steps back into a hamlet along the banks of Godavari, it is an endearing throwback to the first flush of love. Vikram Kumar and cinematographer P C Sreeram present an environment starkly different from the cold, distant environs of the US to paint a warm love story. Chaitanya’s transformation to fit the part of a teen is remarkable and the love story featuring Malvika Nair has the required innocence that makes us root for it. Malvika’s expressive and measured performance is a highlight of the film. She fills the frames with so much warmth without trying too hard.

As an idea, it is interesting to explore how one’s life gets shaped not only by friends but also foes. However, the campus fights in Vizag are plain boring. Abhiram’s run-ins with Sharva (an effective Sai Sushanth Reddy) play out for far too long, involving conflicts on the hockey ground as well as a needless sisterly love through the character of Chinnu (Avika Gor). 

The conversations with the alter ego that makes Abhiram take a fresh look at people who have been a part of his life, is again, an idea that seems interesting at a script level but is not convincing enough on screen. The final transformation, too, appears too good to be true. 

The performances are adequate on the whole and the film benefits from P C Sreeram’s cinematography and Thaman’s music, but the writing needed a lot more depth.

Thank You begins on a promising note and ends up withering away its chances of being a truly moving and poignant journey. This isn’t among the memorable films in Vikram Kumar’s oeuvre.

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