Prabu Solomon gets it all wrong with Thodari, his weakest film by far. What should have been an enjoyable train journey derails pretty soon and ends up as a wreck of epic proportions.
Thodari had it all to make for a roller coaster ride of a film. Certainly, the central idea of a pantry boy aboard a train, Poochiyappan (Dhanush), who falls in love with a traveling passenger, Saroja (Keerthy Suresh), in the midst of various events involving a motley bunch of passengers held enough promise. But after a decent enough beginning, establishing Poochi and Saroja in the first few scenes with a few witty dialogues thrown in, the film badly loses its bearings and ends up at the wrong station with a particularly bad case of verbal diarrhea.
Some totally bizarre characterizations with even more weird situations coupled with absolutely uncalled for derogatory anti-Malayalee remarks and the bottom of the barrel VFX work – all take its toll on this 168 minute ride to nowhere. Thodhari just leaves you gobsmacked at times at the silly almost surreal events unfolding on screen in the name of entertainment. And there’s much you can’t buy in this ‘anything goes’ narrative. Which film star would travel today in a train journey from Delhi to Chennai? Or a typically stereotypical politician? On top of that to have a security guard – a NSG commando no less – for the Minister with a mental disorder just so that the actor (Harish Uthaman) gets in all the ham, bacon and sausage into his terrible ‘crazed’ performance.
Plot wise too, the film bites off far more than it can chew. So leave alone all the crazy bunch of characters and situations, Solomon throws in elements from Speed, Runaway Train, The Burning Train, Unstoppable, Airport 75 etc etc etc making for a ghastly mix and match of things in a desperate effort to keep things moving. And then there is Keerthy Suresh’s godawful character. In the name of cuteness and innocence, she is utterly stupid. Which person who brays like a donkey and is a supposedly sensible adult would actually think she can make it as a singer? No, it is not charming or likable. Just another instance of Tamil cinema treating its heroines as mindless bimbos. If this is supposed to generate humor, it falls flat.
Dhanush is fine in a typical role thereby giving the film its few watchable moments. A couple of songs tuned by D Imman are also ok enough. But beyond that, the film has very little going for it. In fact, this is one train journey you’re better off not taking at all.
Tamil, Action, Drama, Comedy, Romance, Color