Thundu Movie Review: Where focus goes for a toss

Throughout the film, there are several moments where we see the director failing to convey the exact mood of the situation
Thundu Movie Review: Where focus goes for a toss
Rating:(2 / 5)

Male ego and its consequences have lately become an oft-repeated theme. It also forms the core of Riyas Shereef's directorial debut Thundu, where the ego clash is between a police constable and his much younger but higher-ranked colleague. But the stakes here are not as high as in an Ayyappanum Koshiyum or Driving Licence. All the protagonist tries here is to become an equal to his nemesis.

Director: Riyas Shereef

Cast: Biju Menon, Shine Tom Chacko, Abhiram Radhakrishnan, Gokulan

Baby (Biju Menon) is an ordinary cop who often finds himself at the wrong end of things. It starts right from his intro where he accidentally rams into a biker. A few minutes later, we see Baby involved in a nastier accident. But none of this hurts him as much as head constable Shibin's (Shine Tom Chacko) constant sneering. Realising that a promotion is the only way possible to escape from this insult, Baby decides to take the test.

Early in the film, we see another exam—that of high school students. This whole segment has the mood of a heist thriller as we see students devising ingenious methods to use cheat sheets inside the exam hall. It's a brilliantly choreographed sequence that's made thrilling by employing unique camera angles (Jimshi Khalid) and fast-paced cuts (Nabu Usman). The brains behind this entire cheating scheme is Mathew, constable Baby's son. Had the focus remained completely on the father-son duo, Thundu would've been a thoroughly thrilling experience. But unfortunately, the makers had too many other ideas to accommodate, most of which backfires miserably.

After a rather interesting first half where we see a string of mishaps from Baby, the action shifts to the Armed Reserve Camp, where a new set of characters is introduced. One of them is Naveen, played by an earnest Gokulan. Though his character doesn't contribute anything major to the plot, it's a strange choice by the makers to spend a lot of time on his portions. Subsequently, the narrative goes haywire and ends up losing focus on Baby. In between, we also see a series of blunders by the cops, some of them hilarious like the episode involving a dog's pregnancy. But these occasionally interesting scenes don't come together well to form a coherent narrative.

Biju Menon's Baby is a peculiar person. Though he comes from a seemingly happy family comprising a teacher wife and teenage son, you hardly see a smile on his face. But he's not tough either. He's just hopeless and low on confidence. Towards the end, there's an effort made to understand him better and it turns out to be a wonderfully written and performed scene. It is also one of the few scenes where the mood is aptly conveyed. Throughout the film, there are several moments where we see the director failing to convey the exact mood of the situation. Take, for instance, the scene where a broken Naveen remembers his dead dog. It's a poignant moment, which within a flash of a second transitions into a celebratory dance number. As an audience, we are left wondering how to react.

Unlike the recent hit 12th Fail, which spoke against malpractices in exams, Thundu doesn't intend to give any such message to the viewer. However, by the end, I couldn't help but wonder whether a social massage would have made things better, especially after sitting through the unceasing, excessively suggestive background score of Gopi Sundar. Well, I guess not! 

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