A derailed train of thought

A derailed train of thought

The high-speed train doesn’t derail but the storyline does

Thodari is Dhanush’s first release in 2016. If you expect a Denzel from Unstoppable like Dhanush, you would be disappointed. Director Prabhu Solomon's Thodari and its monster train may have been inspired by Unstoppable, but what sets it apart is the different style of action and generous shades of comedy and romance which derails the plot.

Born and brought up on the railway platform, Poochiyappan (Dhanush) is a pantry boy in New Delhi-Chennai Duronto express. He meets Saroja (Keerthy Suresh), the touch-up girl of a popular actress, on the train. Saroja, who wants to become a playback singer, falls for the hero as he promises to introduce her to lyricist Vairamuthu.

Actually, Keerthy is the only lovable factor in the film, from the beginning till the end. Her innocence, bubbly face and smile add to the charm of the character she portrays. The sub-plots of many characters–such as a commando with a psychiatric disorder, a train driver who is about to retire after this journey is completed, a pantry manager (Thambi Ramaiah) and a central minister (Radha Ravi)– only add length to the two-and-half-hour-long film. And a few minutes before the intermission, the train loses control while running at the speed of 140 km per hour. The second half of the film is all about who stops the speeding train and what happens to Poochiyappan and Saroja's love story.

Thodari, like many Kollywood films, takes a potshot at media and makes a parody out of the way television debates are held. Though, a commentary on how the bridges built by the British are stronger than the ones built later, the passengers watching live news on the moving train, and the illogical comments by the politicians offer some comic relief, but it does so at the cost of a taut storyline. Also, the merging of an out-of-control train drama and epic romance looks forced. As the film proceeds, you wonder when the train would stop. In short, Thodari is a train that derails even before it picks up speed.

Film:* Thodari*
Director: Prabhu Solomon
Cast: Dhanush, Keerthy Suresh, Thambi Ramaiah, Radha Ravi
Rating: 2/5

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