Writing a review for Jeethu Joseph’s new Tamil movie Thambi is a little bit tricky. Because the one comparison I have in my head is such that if I spill it, it might spoil the entire movie for you. Jeethu Joseph is a man who has created really impressive thrillers and we are all familiar with his kind of treatment. Thambi is an engaging mix of Jeethu’s signature stuff and a typical Tamil family entertainer. The movie is two and a half-hour long and has certain compromises in its treatment here and there. But it is a movie that never really has a dull moment to its credit.

Gnanamoorthy is a politician and his son Saravanan went missing 15 years ago. Saravanan’s sister Parvathy was deeply affected by this incident. One day Moorthy gets a call from Goa police and the inspector told Moorthy that a thief named Vicky they captured may well be Saravanan. Vicky was a fraudster and the movie shows us his efforts to make the whole family believe that he was the actual Saravanan when a few of the family members including Parvathy started to doubt him.

In terms of treatment or mood, I would say Thambi is like the mix of Thozha and Drishyam (Paapanasam). The first half of the movie is largely focusing on the efforts of Vicky to make everyone believe that he is that old Saravanan who now has no memory of that phase of his life. The kind of fun this part of the movie offers is pretty similar to Thozha and there are several genuinely funny moments featuring Karthi. In the second half, the mystery thriller elements start to unfold slowly. The twists might not be as grand as, say something like a Drishyam. But the twists here definitely grab your attention. There is a moment where Vicky feels that he is being played and the build-up towards that moment was actually interesting.

The role of Vicky aka Saravanan is something that is perfect for a star like Karthi who is really good at being that endearing figure on the screen. He is that likable fraud and the character dynamic he shares with his co-stars is really affable.  Jyothika plays the role of Parvathy who has gone through a very traumatic phase in her life. While watching the film I felt the movie wasn’t using her effectively and now when I look back at the performance after having a complete idea about the character, things make sense. Sathyaraj is playing a very pivotal character here as his grey-shaded Moorthy is a really tough one to crack from the audience’s point of view. Nikhila Vimal is hardly visible in the second half due to the shift in the narrative and yet she was never reduced to a mere pretty face for Karthi to romance. Anson Paul was surprisingly good in my opinion. Ilavarasu as the police officer was nice. Bala, Hareesh Peradi, Sowcar Janaki and many more are there in the star cast. A very special mention to our Rasukutty Ashwanth Ashokkumar who was extremely likable as Kutta and his on-screen tussles with Karthi was really funny.

There is a certain level of drama in the dialogues in Jeethu Joseph movies which usually feels a bit irritating when handled by inexperienced actors. The funny part is that when it comes to Tamil, similar levels of drama sounds a lot more natural. And as a maker Jeethu Joseph has made sure that after a point every scene in the movie has some sort of relevance. Barring an introduction song for the hero, there are not much of the unnecessary entertainer decorations in Thambi. The writing credit is shared by Rensil D’Silva, Sameer Arora, K Manikandan and Jeethu Joseph. Even after being a typical entertainer you can sense an effort from the creative team to make it as engaging as possible. The script has the usual mainstream compromises for the sake of entertainment and somewhere I felt that the movie was a tweaked version of another Jeethu Joseph movie. I don’t know whether the songs are going to stay with me for a long time, but Govind Vasantha’s tracks had a very catchy vibe to their credit. The cinematography was really good and the edits keep the excitement alive for a good portion of the movie.

Thambi is an enjoyable engaging one time watch thriller. The energetic performance of Karthi and the way the mystery unfolds in the second half make it an overall enjoyable movie. When I saw the trailer, I feared the presence of too much action masala in the content but to my surprise, the amount of masala in this thriller was never annoying.

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Final Thoughts

When I saw the trailer, I feared the presence of too much action masala in the content but to my surprise, the amount of masala in this thriller was never annoying.


Green: Recommended Content

Orange: The In-Between Ones

Red: Not Recommended


By Aswin Bharadwaj

Founder and editor of Lensmen Reviews.