The cumulative chill that you expect to work wonders in Roopesh Peethambaran's 'Theevram' is not there. Flaunting some real potential initially, it soon loses steam and falls into the quite common trappings of a vengeance tale.
'Theevram' starts off quite promisingly, with a couple of murders rocking the city, and the police officer Alexander (Sreenivasan) smelling out the culprit real fast. Meanwhile Harsha (Dulquer Salman), a musician by day and a murderer by night gets busy pulling off the nails and teeth off his victim, before chopping the body into pieces and scattering them all over the place!
I had such high hopes for this movie, by the time a drop of sweat had streaked down Alexander's chin and the Intermission came up! The disappointment which followed was truly unfathomable in the sense that it's the judgment of the maker that often goes wrong. You expect something to work with the audience and exactly the opposite happens.
It's all accounted for, the gruesome murder, in the latter half of the story, and when it fails to rise above the norms of a very average revenge tale, you sit with your chin resting on your palms, shaking your head in disbelief. You keep telling yourself of this and that which could have set things right, but soon realize that it perhaps doesn't work that way in films. Which is why some films leave you elated and some other leave you spitting out the dust.
Some scripts go haywire to the point of no-return, and 'Theevram' is an example. It could have made a mediocre love tale that goes all wrong, but when affixed to an exemplary first half, it refuses to gel in. And the result is an appendage of a latter half, that looks sewed up at a real wrong end.
Dulquer moves into another league already with his third film, and without doubt is the man to be on the lookout for. Forget the competition with other young actors, with three films in a year, each decidedly different from the other, this man is here to stay. The by-now-renowned Dulquer stagger and the disarming smile add up to the making of the actor, and as a bonus, he cries awfully good.
While watching Dulquer in action, how could one not think of GK, the man from Joshi's 'New Delhi', who has been wronged real bad, and who is out for vengeance? Comparisons are ridiculous of course, but the sparks are definitely there.
And it's just not Dulquer, but Anu Mohan, Vishnu Raghav and Riya Saira have performed remarkable well. After a very long while, we get to see Sreenivasan in an interesting role (which is reminiscent of the role that he himself played long back in 'Aanavaal Mothiram'). Vinay Fort is deliciously first-rate, as ever. Hari Nair's cinematography and Roby Abraham's musical score add to the frostiness in the air, while the grey tone that is maintained throughout, lets the smell of death hover all over.
And I should say this. There is no doubt that 'Theevram' could have been much, much better, but it does mark the entry of a very promising director. Roopesh does have the reins of the cinematic horse in his hands right till the half point, and he does a real good job of it. It's unfortunate that he lets it slip away later, but I'm sure he's bound to be back with a bang.