The entire cinema is enriched by a classic retro flavor. Each frame, with its art and dark lighting adds depth to the noir feel, writes Deepa Antony.
"Dominic Arun’s storytelling is a brave attempt in Malayalam that has hardly ever been attempted before."
With a new wave of directors Malayalam cinema industry is witnessing a fresh new perspective in filmmaking. The latest entrant is Dominic Arun, the director of Tharangam starring Tovino Thomas and Balu Varghese. The movie first made headlines as the first Malayalam cinema to be produced by Tamil superstar Dhanush and hence raised the audience expectations manifold.
The film is about kallan Pavithran and his tryst with God (played by director Dileesh Pothen). Pavithran was a thief who got beaten to death by his villagers while stealing a temple idol. An enraged God cursed him that his future generations will bear the brunt of his wrongs and will suffer untimely and violent deaths. Out of guilt Pavithran pesters God into finding a way out of this curse to save his progenies. How and whether Pavithran can save his descendant is the story of Tharangam. As wacky and surreal as this sounds the making is just as experimental and never-seen-before in Malayalam cinema.
Dominic Arun is a new director to feature film, yes. But for the uninitiated, he was also the director of a short film ‘Mrithyumjayam – A Noir Short film’ released on YouTube that got him considerable appreciation. And, with Tharangam Dominic Arun has extended his tried and tested noir style of storytelling into his film which deals in dark humor.
Tovino Thomas and Balu Varghese, as Pappan and Joy, play a bunch of irresponsible, lazy and corrupt cops. Their chemistry clicks with the viewers with the very first scene as if the roles were written for them. Saiju Kurup, who plays a “Kingpin” smuggler, switches from grave to comic and vice versa with an ease we are familiar with. Vijayaraghavan, Alencier Ley Lopez, Shammi Thilakan and Manoj K Jayan are all, as usual, as fabulous as they are expected to be. Santhy Balachandran and Neha Iyer are the new female leads introduced in this film. Santhy, who plays Malu, is Pappan’s love interest. For a debutant, she is comfortable to the camera and plays the the role of a head-strong, controlling and assertive girlfriend with ease. Neha Iyer plays Omana who instantly looks regal and aristocratic in every frame though sans expression. And even the dubbing that goes out of sync in places wasn’t helping her character.
The entire cinema is enriched by a classic retro flavor. Each frame, with its art and dark lighting adds depth to the noir feel. Ashwin Renju has done a commendable job with the background score and music keeping in the theme. Noteworthy is the one beautiful romantic song ‘minnununde mullapole’ sung by Karthik. The camera and the making try hard to keep the viewers hooked, but the lag in the story hardly makes it easy. The chaos in the story line from the start to finish could have been enjoyable had it been shorter and crisper. Somewhere in between the viewers lose interest in an otherwise predictable outcome.
For a debutant, Dominic Arun has used a wealth of actors in his film. His storytelling is a brave attempt in Malayalam that has hardly ever been attempted before. Though with Tharangam his magic seems halfway, he does show spark. Tharangam will be known as a brave and new attempt in filmmaking by a debutant. And the attempt demands encouragement and improvement lest new directors may not show the courage Dominic Arun shows here.
reviewed byDeepa Antony
01 Oct 2017 | 08:28 PM
- directed by
- Dominic Arun
- Written by
- Dominic Arun
- Anil Narayanan
- Tovino Thomas
- Balu Varghese
- Santhy Balachandran