In a day and age where domestic violence and violence against women are at large and far-flung, topics like rape, assault and sex trafficking are still considered to be a taboo onscreen. Agreed, its a sensitive topic to be visually presented but its high time that the mold be broken, especially in Malayalam cinema. Pardon, my knowledge regarding Malayalam movies tackling similar topics, but I found it amusing that Thira handled the genre pretty well.
Directed by Vineeth Sreenivasan, Thira tells the story of Dr. Rohini Pranab who’s on a race against the clock when some of the girls she’d taken under her wing, gets abducted. Herself caught neck-deep in a conspiracy and accompanied by Naveen whose sister got abducted among the girls, the plot moves at a brisk pace from start to end.
A ravishing Shobana makes a come back in the shoes of Dr. Rohini Pranab. Shobana effortlessly plays the character which screams for an applause. From a sincere doctor, to a caring social activist and at times adorning shades of power and intimidation, Shobana does shine in her role. There was this particular scene where Rohini, amidst all the troubles she’s in, returns to the hospital for a surgery. While the distinct line aint anything new, it tremendously reminded me of a scene from Sangeeth Sivan’s Nirnayam. Vineeth’s sibling, Dhyan Sreenivasan, despite the initial and occasional nuances of a newcomer, stands out with a commendable debutante performance. While Deepak Parambol who played the very amiable youth communist, Manoj in Thattathin Marayath was menacing and nefarious as ever as in this one.
The visuals were all exquisitely shot and is worthy to be labelled ‘grim and elegant’. While the movie had tense moments, it lost some in its second act and the chases were a little less adrenaline pumping but it served the purpose of thrilling you. Complemented by an excellent soundtrack Thira is bound to keep you on the edge of the your seat till end.
My only qualm was regarding the linguistic choice that happened throughout the movie. I take it that it was to make it accessible for a wider audience that Hindi was prominently used, but its ever too hard to digest when localites as well as other characters spoke such fluent Hindi.
Just like Vineeth’s previous Thattathin Marayath, Thira doesn’t break any new grounds but a Malayalam movie almost on the same page as a Hollywood thriller is something that deserves more than a clap, a standing ovation maybe? Being the first in a planned trilogy and ending in a cliffhanger, it remains to see if the sequels would pack the same punch, nonetheless Thira was an entertaining ride from start to end. I watched this just after Philips & The Monkey Pen and I am rather glad at how Malayalam movies are getting out of their banal, cozy family soap/romance couches.