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'Theerppu' movie review: A political commentary laced with dark humour

‘Theerppu’, directed by Rathish Ambat, is an emotional drama, a quirky action thriller and a black comedy all rolled into one
Last Updated : 26 August 2022, 21:51 IST
Last Updated : 26 August 2022, 21:51 IST

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Theerppu

Malayalam (theatres)

Director: Rathish Ambat

Cast: Prithviraj Sukumaran, Indrajith Sukumaran, Sidique, Saiju Kurup

Score: 3/5

Three among four childhood friends plan a meet up to discuss a business deal. When the fourth one shows up unannounced, unexpected events unfurl.

Theerppu, directed by Rathish Ambat, is an emotional drama, a quirky action thriller and a black comedy all rolled into one. Since it is written by Murali Gopi, the political commentary overshadows all the other elements.

Superficially, Theerppu is the story of a man who wants to avenge the betrayal of his father. The deceitful demolition of Basheer Marakkar’s (Sidique) ancestral home forms the basis for the central conflict in the film. It should be noted that the demolition takes place in 1991.

Murali Gopi does not spare any chance to mention the names and particularly the last names (caste) of the perpetrators of the act and that of their children, the beneficiaries. The story takes place in a resort, and this allows the filmmaker to place many metaphoric props in the frame.

The tonal shifts and explicit political commentary marks Gopi’s return to his forte. The pacing takes a hit in the first half when too much time is dedicated to elaborate a point. The quirkiness and dark humour in the second half is endearing, though some may find the tonal shifts to be abrupt.

Prithviraj Sukumaran’s portrayal of Abdula Marakkar is refreshing but he isn’t fully convincing either. The character also lacks the required complexity. Saiju Kurup delivers a stand-out performance as Parameshwaran Potty. It is the most complex and well-rounded character in the film. Indrajith Sukumaran saves the final act of the film.

The women in the film are not explored beyond one-note character traits. It is surprising, given the writer’s previous ventures.

The background music by Gopi Sundar makes the film engaging and the visuals crafted by cinematographer Sunil K S provides relief during the long drawn-out sequences. The editing is stylised but not out of place. It is also interesting to see that Malayalam cinema has started to experiment with different aspect ratios.

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Published 26 August 2022, 18:20 IST

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