Friendship and Betrayal – haven’t we come across films based on similar themes in the past? Especially in the backdrops of Madurai? Uh-huh! ‘Thoonga Nagaram’ isn’t an exception as the film travels on same concept with some difference over the plot and surprising acts in screenplay. Courtesy to Gaurav for his rhetorically creative writing, but when it comes down to a full-fledged analysis of this movie, it’s somewhat normal to core with an unconvincing climax.
To start off with the synopsis, it’s nowhere different from those yesteryear Madurai-centric flicks, where we find four friends getting acquainted. ‘Kalavani’ fame Vimal plays an amateur videographer Kannan while Bharani (Nadodigal fame) as an electrician. Raja Mani (director Gaurav) works at electric crematorium. Nishanth (the hefty guy in ‘Renigunta) enacts the role of a mute guy working in shop. These guys get closer while boozing at wine shops and share a great bond. Everything remains as picture-perfect until one day when Kannan locks horns with few raucous lads as they sneakily click pictures of girls in trial room at textile and blackmail them. Feeling the desperate need to save themselves, the friends make way to their respective home towns. But their fate remains unchanged as they’ll have to make decisions between Friendship and Betrayal. Director Gaurav stood out on a strong affirmation that ‘Thoonganagaram’ is a special movie. But nothing seems to be so exceptional with it. Apart from couple of surprising moments and a strikingly powerful opening, there aren’t any special features to boast about. With a dark theme running ahead in backdrops, Gaurav tries to balance with unwanted commercial ingredients. Be it humor or unwanted songs, the coalesced elements doesn’t act as refreshing moments.
On the performance, Vimal doesn’t exhibit anything in elision. He’s same as before in his previous movies while rest of the actors try working their best. Director Gaurav seems to have overreacted in few parts. It’s really wondering to see why there happens to be a physically challenged guy in every gang (Renigunta, Subramaniapuram). Anjali as a bubbly girl tries stealing show in few portions and it’s a commendable performance. Sundar C Babu has to jump out of his prototyped composition. Except the remix song of ‘Kalyanam’ nothing remains worthy of our praises. Cinematography is brilliant at places and editing is done neatly.
When it comes to marking down our verdicts, ‘Thoonganagaram’ is yet another potboiler with ‘Madurai’ in backdrops. Although the usual traits of violence have been trivialized, the film still remains as a passable show.
What works: Few interesting moments in screenplay, climax, cinematography, and background score
What doesn’t work: Nothing special in story, clichéd moments of romance and humor, music, etc…
Verdict: Strictly mediocre
Banner: Cloud Nine Movies
Production: Dayanidhi Azhagiri, Vivek Karunakaran
Star-casts: Vimal, Anjali, Bharani, Gaurav, Nishanth and others
Music: Sundar C Babu
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