In Tholvi F.C., writer-director George Kora is trying to club the idea of a dysfunctional family of losers with the evolution of an underdog football team. While there are few lines in the film that will put a smile on your face, the movie is a compilation of scattered pieces that don’t blend well. With all its political and feel-good layers struggling to shape into something exciting, I would say Tholvi F.C. is not a bad movie, but a bland movie.
The film basically revolves around one family. The father, Kuruvilla, has tried his luck in stocks and cryptocurrency but lost a lot of money in all that. The mother, Shoshamma, is a librarian who has not succeeded in convincing a publisher to print her crime novel. The elder son, Oommen, is an entrepreneur whose tea shop is not getting business. The younger son aspires to be a football team coach but can’t even set up a proper team. How these people dealt with this failure aspect of their lives is what we witness in Tholvi F.C.
The script very much stays in its nascent stage throughout the movie. George Kora has characters and a climax in his mind. He has created scenes for each character to address their weakness, their dead end, and the way they overcame them. But for a movie to be entertaining, you need to stitch them all together as one unit, not as some random episodes that can be assembled whichever way you can. I am someone who loved George Kora’s first directorial, Thirike. But this one is so disjoint and heavily formulaic in terms of its agenda to be feel-good.
Sharaf U Dheen, as Oommen, has a very subtle way of pulling off the humor for that character. Oommen is not a caricature, and Sharaf keeps him in that real space without losing the humor touch. George Kora, who plays the role of the football coach Thambi, plays that slightly goofy character in an okay manner. At the beginning of the movie, I thought Asha Madathil Sreekanth would get a significant space to perform in the film. Even though her character is vital to the plot, the scope to perform was minimal. Johny Antony, as the dad, Kuruvilla, repeats his signature style of delivering humor. Meenakshi Raveendran, as Maryam, was impressive in her role.
The disjoint nature of the multiple tracks in the movie is the main demerit of this film. There is a scene in the film where the mother character asks the younger son to set up a party for her and her friends. The whole scene felt like one of those Vadivelu track-comedy you see in old Tamil movies. I know that it is placed there to show the dynamic between the husband and wife and also to show her frustration. But every such track that is there in the movie to show us each of those characters felt so disjoint in a movie that wasn’t driven by heavy conflicts. The woke progressive agenda of the movie was good, but it was always very much on the face.
The happy climax of the movie has a very hilarious scene with the signature style humor of Sharaf U Dheen and Johny Antony. Because of that scene, which was there only for laughter, I walked out of the theater with a smile. But once I backtracked the whole movie, there was hardly anything there that was worth visiting back in this wannabe inspirational feel-good comedy.
With all its political and feel-good layers struggling to shape into something exciting, I would say Tholvi F.C. is not a bad movie, but a bland movie.
Green: Recommended Content
Orange: The In-Between Ones
Red: Not Recommended