Thakkol Movie Review: Murali Gopy and Indrajith are terrific, the film not so much
Despiter the good dialogues and performances, the film doesn't quite reach the sophistication it is aiming for.
At one point in Thakkol, Sudev Nair says, "This has all the traits of good fiction." He is referring to a book that Indrajith's character, a junior priest named Ambrose Vaas, is writing. Thakkol, the film, has dialogues that sound like they leapt off the pages of good fiction. There are colourful and well-articulated words thrown at each other by actors who know and enjoy their craft. However, as a whole, the film doesn't quite have the quality of the good fiction Sudev is referring to. Perhaps director Kiran Prabhakaran believes he has written something akin to literature. He writes good dialogues, shows considerable skill in directing his actors, and has a fairly good editing sense; but barring a few scenes, the film doesn't quite reach the sophistication it is aiming for.
Director: Kiran Prabhakaran
Cast: Murali Gopy, Indrajith, Renji Panicker
Ambrose has been jotting down his thoughts, which make for potential novel material. He has been struggling lately, both physically and emotionally. On one hand, he is grappling with nightmares -- an after-effect of past demons -- and on the other, he is going through an embarrassing health issue in a place where the sun doesn't shine. At the beginning of the film, we are led to believe that all his problems stem from the complicated mentor-protege relationship he has with Mankunnath Paili (Murali Gopy). There is a history behind the latter's reason for bringing Ambrose into the church and turning him into his alter-boy. Paili is rigid, stubborn, and full of himself. He turns into a drama queen when the ingredients in his food don't turn out the way he wants to. In everyone's eyes, Paili is a dictator. However, there is one particular moment where he is shown to be a man capable of empathy. Does he have a reason for treating Ambrose harshly? The boy is looking for the answer to that even after turning an adult -- and Paili still subjects him to occasional humiliation.
I wished the film explored more of their relationship and the history behind it. But it immediately gets distracted by other elements: a potential benefactor named Clement (Renji Panicker); multiple deaths; Ambrose's childhood flame Sarah (Iniya), who is now a woman of ill repute due to some inexplicable reason; and a mysterious key whose secret Ambrose is very eager to know. When all this is happening, we are wondering when we are going to see Paili again. This may be because Murali Gopy delivers such a fabulous performance here. And Indrajith complements him perfectly with his meek, confused and sufficiently agitated act. The latter even gets to reveal his comical side in a couple of portions. Indrajith is quite gifted in that regard, and he has proven this already in films like Left Right Left and Virus. Thakkol feels more alive when one of these two actors show up. The Ambrose-Paili interactions reminded me of the Mohanlal-Thilakan scenes from Spadikam.
But every other actor is having fun in their respective parts too, especially Renji Panicker, Nedumudi Venu, P Balachandran and Sudheer Karamana. But a film can't be engaging by just being an acting exercise alone. And an ambiguous ending isn't exactly a cool idea when everything else leading up to it has been more or less half-baked. Besides, the old-fashioned filmmaking approach, the slightly colour-drained images, and the mismatched background score make the film a bit of a chore to sit through.