Thodraa Review: A horrible affront to the victims of honour killing
Advertised as a tribute to victims of honour killings, the beyond shoddy filmmaking ends up making this an insult to their memories instead
Thodraa opens with a murder scene; a young couple is hacked by goons in broad daylight. More than the murder, what shocks us is sight of bystanders (who presumably came to watch the shooting) giggling in the background. Innumerable blunders like this make us wonder whether the director viewed the film himself before releasing it.
Cast: Prithvi Pandiyarajan, Veena Nanthakumar, MS Kumar and Susan
Shankar (Prithvi) and Divya (Veena) are college students. While the former makes a living as a part-time paperboy, the latter is born with a silver spoon and hails from a casteist family. As per the unwritten norms of Kollywood they fall in love and face oppression from Divya's brother Pounraj (MS Kumar). The rest of the plot traces the struggles faced by them to get married and lead a peaceful life together. The director has tried to exploit real-life honour killing incidents which took place in Udumalaipettai and Dharmapuri, by naming his lead characters after the victims of those incidents. But the similarity ends right there, and what could have been a well-researched semi-fictional biopic of the victims, ends up being a downright caricature.
The death of his friends and family seems to hardly bother Shankar, who has only one thing on his mind -- having sex with his newly-wedded wife. A fifty-year-old, who is introduced as his peer, ends up as collateral damage and the screen fades in showing a newspaper which reads, "Vaalibar Maranam", in bold letters. Shankar and Divya dodge the goons of Pounraj, travel on multiple buses day and night, reach a temple and finally get married in front of one of its shops, as the temple's gates are closed.
Dialogues also play an equal role in butchering the film. The entire theatre erupted into laughter when the tipstaff called out, "Item number 110 (instead of saying case number) vandhu nillu ma."
Despite a runtime less than two hours, sitting in the theatre feels like an eternity thanks to the never-ending montages showing the leads on a bicycle, walking through valleys, and, (hold your breath) washing clothes. Given how the film makes us feel, and the fact the couple run for their lives without striking back throughout the film, the makers could've named it, Vudraa (Leave me), instead of Thodraa (Hit me).