Towards the end of the movie Theerppu, there is a scene where Vijay Babu’s Ramkumar Nair tells Indrajith’s Kalyan Menon to stop the rhetoric and come to the point. It was pretty much what I felt when Prithviraj’s Abdulla Marakkar was sitting on that couch and saying lines before he could deliver justice. Theerppu is definitely a compelling concept that couldn’t really invite its audience to read out its allegory structure. This exhibition of Murali Gopy’s vocabulary (something I envy personally) doesn’t really stay with you on an emotional level.
Ramkumar Nair is back from England to meet his childhood friend Parameshawaran Potty. Potty’s IT firm is in debt, and he and his wife Prabha are hoping for Ramkumar’s support. Ramkumar and his wife Mythili are hosting Potty and Prabha at their luxury beach resort. In the midst of the business deal, an uninvited guest arrives- Abdulla Marakkar, their childhood friend who has some unfinished business with Ramkumar. The history of their friendship is what we see in Theerppu.
The different approach to presenting a revenge drama definitely gives Theerppu a distinct outlook. But in order to reach there, it takes ample time, and the narration on those points is hardly exciting. The allegory angle Murali Gopy mentioned during this film’s promotions is way too obvious. You kind of know from the beginning that the choice of relics you see in Ramkumar’s resort has another layer. But the backstory of a betrayal that is shown in the film falls very flat on an emotional level. And the metaphorical fancy dress of Hitler and Mussolini feels more like a deliberate gimmick to place the movie as something with an intellectual layer than a fascinating scripting trope.
Rathish Ambat, who joins hands with Murali Gopy after Kammara Sambhavam, knows how to present the movie in a scaled-up way, especially on the backstory side. But a craft-level push that was essential for a movie that depends too much on its various readings was missing in the making. Even in writing, there isn’t that push to make the viewer read something additional from a scene or staging. The idea of addressing the characters with caste names looks interesting on paper, but it wasn’t translated effectively on screen. The production design looks authentic in the flashback portions.
In terms of screen time and scope to perform, Theerppu looks more like a Vijay Babu starrer. And he is playing this womanizer who is unapologetic about his actions. Prithviraj Sukumaran’s dialogue rendering style works for a Kaduva, but the ad film voice modulation isn’t helping here. Empathizing with the character of Abdulla Marakkar is a bit difficult when the dialogue rendering is like that. Saiju Kurup’s performance as Parameshwaran Potty is on the verge of becoming a caricature. Isha Talwar’s dubbing wasn’t great. Hanna Reji Koshy as Prabha and Indrajith Sukumaran as Kalyan were fine in their respective roles. Siddique was excellent in those flashback portions, and a special mention to Srikanth Murali, who portrayed the cunningness of Nair minimally and believably.
Hearing that philosophy about the powerless at the end and how they have used that theme to pull off a revenge story, I felt Theerppu would have been a gripping tale if it was a short film or a segment in a revenge-based anthology. Theerppu is a script that is more treatment driven than the events happening in the screenplay. And Rathish Ambat’s scale-oriented depiction wasn’t enough to excite the viewer.
Theerppu is a script that is more treatment driven than the events happening in the screenplay. And Rathish Ambat's scale-oriented depiction wasn't enough to excite the viewer.
Green: Recommended Content
Orange: The In-Between Ones
Red: Not Recommended