An average thriller

  • A remake of Frederic Jardin's French film 'Sleepless Nights', 'Thoongavanam' has nothing fantastic in it

Kamal Hassan's much awaited Thoongavanam has finally hit the screens. The bilingual action thriller has been receiving quite a positive response from the first day of release. The film collected Rs 20 crore on the first day of release in Chennai alone. Though positively received by Kamal Haasan's die-hard fans, it fails to lure the general audience and doesn't make them perch on the edge of their seats.

The regular Kamal'isms—romance, lip lock scenes and emotional relationships—are not missing in Thoongavanam. The movie is set in a night club with too many entries and exits leaving the audience a bit confused till intermission. C.K. Diwakar aka CKD (Kamal Haasan) an undercover cop, working for the Narcotics Control Bureau finds himself in a catch 22 situation when drug kingpin Vittal Rao ( Prakash Raj) asks him to return a drug bag in exchange for his son Vasu (Áman Abdullah). The bag containing cocaine goes missing and CKD is caught between cops Mallika (Trisha Krishnan) and Dhiraviyam (Kishore), and drug dealers Vittal Rao and Pedha Babu (Sampath). What he does to bring back his son safe is Thoongavanam. Trisha plays the role of a perfect cop trying to nail her role model Diwakar.

A remake of Frederic Jardin's French film Sleepless Nights, Thoongavanam has nothing fantastic in it. Beginning in a high gear and accelerating steadily to a different story, it is on one side an action thriller and a story of father-son bonding on the other side. Soya milk, gay sex, a telephone-cleaner wife, word play with Crazy Mohan-style dialogues, Kamal Haasan's lip locks with the hottest nurse, not once but many times, are add-ons. These too, however, fail to leave the audience thrilled.

The screenplay is long, but not tight. The script, which largely lies close to that of the original Sleepless Night, gives a feeling of monotony. But a few stunt sequences and the fist fights in the night club's kitchen are simply superb. Stunt choreographer Gilles Conseil has definitely raised the bar in stunt choreography in Kollywood movies with Thoongavanam.

Mani, essayed by Yugi Sethu, is the character that brings a twist to the screenplay. What stands out beyond all the stars is Kamal's balancing act between a father and a sincere cop. The changing relationship between him and his son is beautifully portrayed in the scenes. Ghibran's background score takes the viewer through the myriad experiences inside a night club and the drug mafia.

In a year of three releases—Uttama Villain, Papanasam and Thoongavanam—Kamal Haasan definitely has a big score at the age of 61. Like in_ Uttama Villain, in _Thoongavanam, too, he plays the role of a work-obsessed father. And like in Papanasam, his family comes first though he loves his work more than his family.

Movie: Thoongavanam
Director: Rajesh M. Selva
Cast: Kamal Haasan, Prakash Raj, Trisha Krishnan, Yugi Sethu, Sampath, Kishore, Nandu Jagan, Aman Abdullah, Asha Sarath
Rating: 3

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