Thumbaa: Lost in the forest

A still from Thumbaa

A still from Thumbaa   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

A children-friendly film that needs more detailing and better computer graphics

Early on in Thumbaa, Hari (Darshan) and Umapathy (Dheena) board a bus. When they announce that their destination is Topslip, the few people in the vehicle stare at them. A few minutes later, Hari wants to exchange seats with Umapathy. All this because they’re afraid of a tiger on the prowl in the forest – one that has escaped from Kerala and has crossed over to Tamil Nadu.

It’s a running gag that the two are afraid of this tiger - called Thumbaa – and it almost lasts the entire 123 minutes of the film that it isn’t funny anymore.

Thumbaa revolves around three central characters – Hari (who balances multiple jobs but has run out of money), Umapathy (a painter who lands a job at the Topslip forest) and Varsha (a wildlife photographer who desperately wants to take a picture of a tiger). Had it revolved around them and their (mis)adventures, it might have still worked – but the makers want to cram in a conspiracy theory angle and the need for forest conservation...all of which make it sink lower.

The idea of Harish Ram LH, Thumbaa’s director, is to offer children-friendly content and the design of the film in that aspect is right. For one, the sound isn’t jarring. Even the tiger doesn’t injure its attackers but just brushes – there’s no blood involved. But right intent isn’t enough for such a film; it needed more detailing, better acting and better computer graphics.

Dheena gets in a few funny lines and deserves roles in bigger films in Kollywood, but Darshan (who reminded me a bit of Udhayanidhi Stalin) has a lot to work on, in terms of expressions and dialogue delivery. Keerthi Pandian is lively in her debut, but the film sags quite a bit, with the Jayam Ravi cameo portions and the ‘Jilebara’ song sticking out like a sore thumb. What stays with you is the cinematography (Naren Elan) and the visuals in the Anirudh-composed ‘Pudhusaatam’ number that celebrates Nature. It is a gentle reminder to us city folks that there’s beauty in the outside, in the green. That might be among Thumbaa’s minor achievements.

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Printable version | Feb 24, 2020 6:16:14 PM |

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