Thiravam movie director: Arvind Krishna
Thiravam cast: Prasanna, Indhuja, Azhagam Perumal
Thiravam tells us the fictionalised story of Ramar Pillai, who claimed he invented ‘herbal fuel’ around the late 90s. Though he was exposed as a fraud, Pillai’s business continued to flourish as he was backed by influential bureaucrats and politicians.
This web series traces the story of Ravi Prakasam, a scientist, (played by an earnest Prasanna), who invents ‘mooligai petrol’, and the trouble he faces from people against him. Prasanna sports grey hair and a paunch. Like any other scientist, he is a tad eccentric, and socially-awkward. The stage is thus set for a cat-and-mouse game, but goes beyond the regular cliches. We are simultaneously shown Ravi as a doting father. Prasanna is a terrific choice by the makers to play a scientist. Nowhere you see the actor, but simply see the character. And it’s here that Prasanna’s acting chops is put to good use.
As for the supporting cast, their performances are uniformly good, with Azhagam Perumal rock-solid as ever and Indhuja making a strong impact. The Meyaadha Maan actor plays Sahana, a lawyer, who helps Ravi Prakasam. Viewers may have trouble accepting Indhuja as a deceiving lawyer, but her character plays out in exactly the manner one would imagine.
One aspect that irked me throughout is the liberal use of profanities. I am sure the format of the web series allows the makers to say whatever they want to, but in a lot of places, it looked forced.
But the writing is clean in the first two episodes. At one point, we even empathise with Ravi Prakasam. We begin to think if he is a genuine person or circumstances made him do things that he did eventually. What I really enjoyed were those small warm moments between Ravi and his daughter. Despite its flaws, Thiravam is watchable as we get invested in the happenings. When the director makes you establish an emotional connect with the characters, it becomes easier.
Thiravam is currently streaming on ZEE5.