Venu B Nair's 'Thoovalkaattu' is a strange film in that in its deliberate attempts to be different, it tells a story that is plainly weird. It starts off somewhere, heads neither here nor there and ends up being nowhere.
The lead role played by Manoj K Jayan is that of Sundaran, who is a living contradiction to his name. Quite an unattractive person, Sundaran has managed to win over the hearts of many in his village, but especially two - Devu (Lekshmi Gopalaswami) whom he is betrothed to, and Hajiyar (Saikumar) who is less of an employee and more of an elder brother to him.
Thoovalkaattu mixes up a little bit of everything possible in its tale. There is Hajiyar's daughter who gets involved with a terrorist who underlines that Islam is not about terrorism. The hardcore radicals that she confronts don't seem to care though, and blows up a mansion. Terrorism is real bad, and so are the graphics used in the film.
With terrorists hell bent on wreaking havoc all over, could the snakes be left far behind? Yeah, I know it's pretty confusing, but that's how it goes. Devu tells us that snakes could be quite dangerous, especially when it comes to young girls who roam about at nights. There could be this one serpent lying in wait for you in his hole, and if he falls in love with you, you are done for life.
Devu learns it the hard way, and it takes just one rainy night for the snake to cast his lustful eyes on her. The whole thing is quite tragic, and I don't mean the film alone. So is the script as well as the sad, miserable story. It requires a very special determination to sit through this movie with Lekshmi Gopalaswami slithering around, literally.
It would seem silly if I said the story any further, though there wouldn't b any spoiler alerts for sure. The actors cannot be blamed here, not even for a moment. Manoj does try his best, and so does Lekshmi, but there is no escape from what they are getting themselves into. The man ends up a bum and the girl ends up in the bum's dreams.
As much as the drama is over done, the emotional content of the film remains abysmally low. There is nothing in it that would move you, and it leaves you cold. The punches are lacking and so are the nuances. I am not sure how this could have turned out to be more entertaining. There is simply no potential in it to work up even a bit of excitement.
There is nothing wrong in experimenting with the alternative, but sometimes it gets a tad too tiresome. Like in the case of 'Thoovalkaattu'. The premise looks phony, and even so there's not enough of it. At the end of the day, it does nothing except smoothly add itself to the long list of disappointments to have hit the screen this year.
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