Thobama is the new movie directed by Alphonse Puthren’s associate Mohsin Kassim. The movie that feels like a simple comedy through whatever minimal promotion we have seen so far has content beyond the mere fun factor. Even though the exhausting length is a demerit, the movie manages to capture the essence of an organic friendship and thus leaves a positive impression.
The movie is set in 2006. Thommi, Balu and Mammu are three thick friends who are in their early twenties and are trying to figure out how to move ahead in life. Thommi is frequently going after plans that would help them make money in no time. Mammu believes everything that Thommi says but his only ambition in life is to become an actor. Balu on the other hand is the son of a bank employee and is doing M.Com with no big aspirations in life. Thobama tells us a particular phase in the friendship of this three where they sort of go through a lot and feel that self enlightenment.
Mohsin Kassim thanks his Guru and friend Alphonse Puthren in the beginning and I must say that from framing to the way the characters speak to the edit patterns, Thobama feels like an extension of Premam in terms of treatment. As the content is humorous and looks real, that treatment doesn’t really cause any problem in the story. The major drawback is the middle portion of the screenplay that doesn’t know how to handle the central conflict and the friendship factor smoothly. Hidden mafias behind the lottery business and their tactics are the major point in the plot and the movie takes a bit too long in each area like the establishment of characters, conflict and realization. The demerit of the bloated conflict gets covered up by the treatment that still looks fresh.
The cast of the movie has the Aluva gang of Puthren except for Nivin Pauly. Siju Wilson, Krishna Shankar and Sharafudheen are the ones who play the roles of these three friends. Unlike other films that tried to depict these actors as the hangover versions of their Premam characters, Thobama has those playing characters with multiple shades. Sharafudheen’s Thommi has a reason why he is like that and the actor pulls it off neatly. Krishna Shankar makes Mammu an innocent character rather than a buffoonish character. Siju Wilson also depicts the practical guy in the gang in a convincing way. The heroine of the film, Punya Elizabeth has no big space in the totality of the story, but her performance was good. Rajesh Sharma, Rafi, Shabareesh Varma, Sree Lakshmi etc. did their respective roles neatly.
Mohsin Kassim’s making is pretty similar to how Puthren conceives ideas. I like the way how these guys are incorporating realism into the treatment of usual commercial films. The problem is happening in the middle portion of the movie where we feel that the movie is investing too much of time over the lottery thing. It does need some time to establish, but the narrative here seemed like a comparatively weaker one. But the events unfolding in the last 30 minutes or so makes the story a little more emotionally intense and that will make you appreciate the overall product. Sunoj Velayudhan manages to emulate the style we have seen in Premam and Neram. Rajesh Murugesan’s music was really good. The sound design of the movie was also pretty impressive.
I was thinking Thobama would be a light hearted fun film. But at the core Thobama is a bit more practical story of true friendship. A tidier screenplay would have made it a better film. But with the kind of fun and tension we see on screen, Thobama manages to be that nicely poised film.
At the core Thobama is a bit more practical story of true friendship. A tidier screenplay would have made it a better film.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended