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Theerppu movie review: Prithviraj starrer suffers from mediocrity

Rating: 2 out of 5

Theerppu movie review: Theerppu seemingly has no inkling of how absolute power works. It kind of argues that the powerless defeat those in power by dying. That's the most obnoxious statement ever made by a movie.

Prithviraj in Theerppu.

In Theerppu, directed by Rathish Ambat from a screenplay written by Murali Gopy, a luxury beachside private resort sits on a land, which has a bitter history. For a person with a teeny-tiny consciousness, it’s a reminder of a wrongful past, but for disingenuous, greedy minds, it’s a great business opportunity. One man’s pain is another man’s gain, no? Ram Kumar Nair (Vijay Babu), the promoter of the private resort, has turned it into a museum. That’s the main draw of the resort. The guests get an opportunity to be surrounded by several historic figures, art and architecture. Ram has turned the place into a utopian land where opposing ideologies, ideas and personalities occupy the space in complete harmony.

The set-up is kind of ingenious as I felt that the screenwriter seems to be doubling down on us owning our past. Not just the happy memories but everything, including some of the nasty stuff that humans committed against fellow humans. And when we own our history, we develop a sense of accountability, which in turn enables us to avoid repeating the mistakes of those who came before us, so we can break the cycle of history repeating itself. But, Murali had something else on his mind for this set-up. And he doesn’t do full justice to the setting, which could have provided a biting commentary on the world which is ruining the present and the future with its obsession to correct and control the past.

The story: A group of four friends find themselves under the same roof after a gap of 15 years. And it’s not some planned get-together, where everyone gets to share a happy memory. It’s a locked-room horror show. One of the friends, Abdulla Marakkar (Prithviraj Sukumaran), armed with a double-barrel gun and cricket bat used by Kapil Dev in a 1983 World Cup match, is destroying Ram’s life’s work by smashing one piece of history at a time. The story does take a few left turns, subverting our expectations about Abdulla’s idea of revenge. But, they all turn out to be the payoffs that were promised but never show up. It’s disappointing.

The screenplay is a lot on the nose, where Murali Gopy feels the necessity to dump a lot of information without much provocation. Kalyan (Indrajith Sukumaran), a top cop, can’t answer phone calls of Ram as he’s busy in a meeting with his boss about serious large-scale public health and law and order issues. When Kalyan gets a break and calls Ram, he could simply say, ‘Hey, I was busy. What’s up?’ But for some unknown reasons, Kalyan feels the need to give the full account of his business to Ram, who is already in a desperate situation, where he’s in no position to care about what’s happening in Kalyan’s career. And the audience has already witnessed the closed-door meeting of Kalyan with his senior, so Kalyan repeating the information verbally, which we saw happen in real-time, makes little sense. This is just one example of such errors in the screenplay. The film is dense with words but only a handful of them mean something. The rest all just hog run time senselessly.

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Theerppu seemingly has no inkling of how absolute power works. It kind of argues that the powerless defeat those in power by dying. That’s the most obnoxious statement ever made by a movie. The thought process of the makers is far removed from the reality we live in. Also, the films that are made with the sole intention of showing how smart their makers are, instead of trying to genuinely tell a story, almost always suffer from mediocrity.

First published on: 25-08-2022 at 18:38 IST
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