Film: Theethum Nandrum
Director: Rasu Ranjith
Cast: Rasu Ranjith, Aparna Balamurali, Lijomol Jose, Eesan, Inba, Sandeep Raj, Kaalayan Sathya and Karunakaran
Music: Sathya C
Cinematography: Kevin Raj
Producer: Charles Immanuel
Rating 3.5 stars
Let there be no doubt. Theethum Nandrum is a film that is worth watching in theatres.
Most people might choose to be skeptical about the film as its director and all its male leads are relatively new to the film industry but make no mistake about it, the film is an intense, gripping action thriller that is well worth your time and money.
The film revolves around three friends Das (played by Eesan), Siva (played by Rasu Ranjith) and Maara (played by Sandeep Raj), all of whom are from the lower-middle class.
The bonding between Das and Siva is particulary strong with each backing the other to the hilt, every time they face a threat or challenge.
Maara’s equation with the two is however different. Maara’s relationship with Das and Siva is purely based on business and need, although he claims to be a friend.
Das and Siva, who work in the fish market in the day, are invariably tempted into looting business establishments by Maara, who has a criminal bent of mind.
The trio not only plan daring robberies but even manage to pull them off successfully. Riding a success wave, life seems rosy for all three in general and in particular for Das, who manages to wed Sumathi (Aparna Balamurali), his girlfriend, despite her mother’s opposition.
Sumathi is completely and madly in love with her husband Das, whom she trusts with all her heart. While she is at ease with all his friends, she has a sense of uneasiness about Maara, who makes occassional appearances and holds secret meetings with her husband and Siva.
Eventually, she gets to know that the trio indulge in robberies. One night, when Das gets ready to go out hunting with his friends, Sumathi intervenes and tries to stop him. She begs him not to go out at night and pleads with him to stop indulging in robberies.
Das convinces her, puts her to sleep and then slips out when she falls asleep. Things go wrong this time and with it all hell breaks loose…
Full marks to director Rasu Ranjith, who manages to keep you interested in the plot of the film from start to finish. The film manages to maintain the racy pace with which it starts and there is not a single moment of boredom through out the entire film. For a new director, who also acts as one of the three main leads in the film, this is a demanding ask. But to his credit, Rasu Ranjith seems to have managed to pull it off.
Rasu’s first success lies in the fact that he’s got his casting right. Be it Eesan, who plays Das or Sandeep Raj, who plays Maara, they simply look and live the part. Eesan’s character demands from the actor, the ability to evoke pity and at the same time showcase empathy and courage. Eesan does this beautifully.
Maara’s character is a tricky one as on the one hand, he has to appear, bold, strong and friendly but at the same time, add a sinister element to his look to give the impression that he isn’t as trustworthy as he claims to be. Sandeep Raj does this with absolute authority.
Rasu himself plays the role of Siva with confidence and conviction that you don’t recognise him as Rasu but as Siva.
Aparna Balamurali as Sumathi does a neat job once again and comes up with an impressive performance as does Lijomol Jose who stole audiences hearts with her simple yet adorable performance in Sasi’s Sivappu Manjal Pachai.
Both women play crucial roles and their performances add so much more value to the plot and the film. Interestingly, both Aparna and Lijo were newcomers to the Tamil film industry when they were working on this film.
The story beautifully showcases the power of friendship, the bitterness caused by backstabbing, the value of loyalty, the strength of trust and the pain caused by treachery.
Sathya C S comes up with some lovely numbers for this film. His background score for this movie is exceptional. Kevin Raj’s visuals are striking and rich and keep you enchanted.
On the whole, Theethum Nandrum is a winner in my book and scores a handsome 3.5 stars. Do check it out people!