Thanthonni has too many stenciled characters that it runs the danger of being condemned as a mediocrity. There is nothing new that George Varghese's film offers us, and though its fast and loud, there isn't anything in it that we haven't seen at least a dozen times before.
Thanthonni deserves a special analysis for the way the pre-release publicity of the film has projected its hero into an almost-demi god status. The rebel hero has always gone down well with the audience here, and this was an opportunity for Prithvi to be enthroned as the radical protagonist who survives against the toughest odds in life. This film would sadly do nothing of the sort, and the highly promising actor with that irresistible charm around him will have to wait for a better chance.
But if you are able to sit through Thanthonni, wishing all the while that it had something better to say, it's only because of its lead actor. There are a hundred and one ways why Thanthonni would never make it to your much-loved movies list; but there are very few reasons to be disappointed with its rogue hero. There would be no escape from the comparisons that would arise; especially with actors who have been there, done that. Despite all this, Prithvi delivers a whopper performance in a script that offers him little scope, and underlines the fact that he isn't called talented for nothing.
Sheela's role in the film is as skimpy as her skirts and to her credit she does her role to perfection. She is asked to cast herself in a role that many before her had fallen prey to; one that demands her to be an apparatus that would serve to glorify her man's deeds. As such, she would flutter her eyes in amazement at what her man does, and gasp and gawk awkwardly when he steadily climbs up the larger-than-life ladder, diminishing her into a play toy between his fingers that he squeaks and torments at his fancy.
Besides the lover, there is the mother (Ambika) too, who has wept an entire life, on account of a 'wrong decision' that she had given in to, long back. The wrong decision was that she decided to live with a man of her choice. Pretty much wrong, given the patriarchal state of affairs, and hence she lives a life in front of a burning candle, hoping that the God and her long-dead husband are still listening to what she has to say.
Thanthonni seems like it's been scripted by the driver of a fast car who keeps switching lanes, neither aware of those trucks drawing in fast from behind nor those that are speeding ahead. Hence it goes crashing against several of those and by the time the film winds up, just a few shreds and pieces of it are left.
Digressions of the sort that you get to see in Thanthonni are fatal. As much as it is evident that the film has very little to say, it does keep mumbling something in the first half, though most of what it says is what we have heard a million times before. And then along comes a digression in the second half that takes up almost half an hour, and that attempts to delve into what Kochu Kunju was up to, in Dubai. Up comes a few new characters presto, and the film starts telling some incoherent tale that bores us to death.
It takes some time for the film to get back into track after that; not that it was on much of a track in the first place. And the explosive climax that is expected to come up, never really arrives. Instead, we have a highly agitated Prithviraj with his nerves jutting out of his neck, shouting at the top of his voice, of life that has always been unfair to him. And once the shouting is done, things calm down a bit, and the curtains come down.
Thanthonni could have been a blockbuster if it had had a release a few years back. But now, the familiarity of its elements are quite off-putting and it looks very pale and incompetent when compared to its forerunners.
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