Trying to be unconventional and, at the same time, aspiring to have a mass appeal is a risky business. Only a few films had managed to pull it off in the past. Director Khalid Rahman’s new film Thallumaala is a very novel attempt that is uneven in the packaging. Rahman’s eye for detailing and how he maintains this eccentric tempo is fun for sure. But finding the right balance is not easy when the treatment is unfamiliar. Thus Thallumaala ends up being a passable entertainer with scattered highs and lows.
Wazim is our hero. The film starts off with his wedding with Fathima Beevi, aka Beevi, getting canceled. Wazim has a few close friends, and the bonding of these guys happened over the course of fights. A series of interconnected events with fights that ultimately has a major impact on Wazim’s love life is what we witness in Thallumaala.
From a series of match cuts to animated transitions, Khalid Rahman sets the film’s mood perfectly. He gives the audience a clear heads up about the wackiness they will experience for the rest of the movie. The friendship humor we had seen in Muhsin Parari’s KL10 Pathu is also visible here. But somewhere towards the midway of the film, the efforts to look like a zany entertainer become very visible. The whole rap song and the Ndaakkippaattu feels like creations they could have easily chopped off in the final edit. The graph of the movie again escalates gradually in the second half, and the result in totality looks fun.
The movie’s production value is definitely top-notch, and Rahman knows how important it is for a film like this, which uses visual synergy to a great extent. Even in the clunky phase of the movie, one can see a genuine effort to keep it interesting for the audience. The diversions of the script to certain other tracks are not really smooth. The editing is pretty sharp, and Nishad Yusuf knows the swanky vibe of the movie. But the crisscross narration that happens on a script level is sometimes a bit confusing. Jimshi Khalid’s cinematography is eye-candy, and the philosophy of the film was essentially to be like that. The visualization of some of the fight sequences, especially the one inside the theater, sets a new benchmark. Vishnu Vijay’s tracks are peppy and quirky like the film.
Tovino Thomas gets the swagger and fun shades of Wazim perfectly. It was pretty much the same with Kalyani Priyadarshan. More than an acting challenge, it was more about carrying those characters with a certain level of confidence, and they both were pretty good. Shine Tom Chacko as the police officer Reji reduces his usual eccentric tone, which was a good tweak. Lukman is definitely going to get some significant boost after this movie, and he was able to create a space for himself. Swathi Das Prabhu, Austin Dan, and Adhri Joe as Wazim’s friends were fun, especially on that car ride. Binu Pappu and Gokulan were also memorable.
Thallumaala is not a perfect film by any means. And it has some major pacing issues too. But as a mainstream cinema that wants to be a gallery pleaser, I think the visual language, refreshing style, and pacing give other filmmakers the confidence to go out of the box. Thallumaala is a mixed-bag entertainer that genuinely tries to be unique.
Thallumaala is a mixed-bag entertainer that genuinely tries to be unique.
Green: Recommended Content
Orange: The In-Between Ones
Red: Not Recommended