Thodari movie cast: Dhanush, Keerthy Suresh, Thambi Ramaiah
Thodari movie director: Prabhu Solomon
Movies are supposed to entertain, educate or give a social message. And then there is Dhanush-starrer Thodari (Rail in Telugu), directed by Prabhu Solomon.
You get the feeling that Thodari must have been one hell of a story; it is the execution which is miserable. It is built like a thriller where the audience knows the end while the characters don’t. When the genre is romantic thriller, the story is expected to tilt towards either romance or thrill, or brilliantly balance them both. Thodari fails here as well. And the romance, splashed with half-baked comedy, is yet another disaster.
Even a powerful star like Dhanush has been underutilised in the film, thanks to the paltry script and its treatment. A pantry boy falls in love with a make-up artist and they are both aboard a speeding train. A gang of highly-suspicious dacoits gets aboard the train after fooling the police force. In the middle of all this is a ridiculous central minister (veterinary!), accompanied by a hot-headed NSG commando.
A pantry boy trying to save 700 passengers on board is a long shot which needed a powerful script. And that’s where Thodari’s biggest weakness lies.
Dhanush is failed by his character Balli Shivaji, a man saddled with bland and cliched dialogues and innuendos. He is not given a leading role or a weighty part in the story. In fact, it is just the last 10 minutes where his screen-time is justified.
The entire first half struggles to build the idealistic romance. The second half is chaotic amusement packed in a train with media, NSG, RPF and railway managers messing the storyline.
The media is ridiculed to death for being insensitive and mired in sensationalism. The police force is a study in inefficiency. In fact, the NSG and police are seen setting off ammunition based on a fragile suspicion of Saroja (Keerthy Suresh).
Now for the female lead. Saroja’s character begins as an innocent and ends as a clown. Amid all this, there is also a tinge of unnecessary Tamil-Telugu bonhomie. The cast is forced to talk about how Rajinikanth contributed to both the film industries and how Kollywood has Telugu stars Swati and Anajali.
While the train doesn’t derail in the end, the plot definitely does. And it does so well before interval.