What happens when you run into childhood friends after almost two decades? If you thought of a beautiful reunion where you rekindle nostalgic memories, you are spoiled by the feel-good Indian cinema.
Theerppu revolves around four friends who share a traumatic past. Their fathers are embroiled in a property dispute. While the sons enjoy the fruits of their fathers’ cunningness, life takes a different turn for the one who is cheated.
When these sons meet again after a long gap, history repeats itself but with a twist. What happens? What is the judgment for the criminals? Does justice prevail? Will the sinners get their deserving punishments? Who wins in life? The film answers these questions with the rest of the story.
Theerppu captures the unsettling pain behind those who are traumatized beyond measure early in their lives and how they are forced to relive the horror, every passing day.
However, as opposed to one’s anticipation, Theeruppu is not a gripping thriller. What makes this usual revenge story different is the labels that are associated with each character, the political subtexts and the setting where the plot unravels. With a museum-like setup and heavily loaded historical references, there is an action sequence that deserves appreciation for its conceptual novelty.
Scriptwriter Murali Gopy and director Rathish Ambat have taken ‘social commentary’ as Theeruppu’s primary objective, for it tries to comment on every political topic under the sun - right from British invasion, religious conflicts, sexism, north & south Indian divide, property frauds and scams, casteism, globalization to abuse of trust, power and privilege. While it is subversive in some places, the satire is predominantly on the face.
The first half of Theerppu is engaging however you feel lost somewhere in the second half. Almost all the roles in the film are defined as vapid and morality-deficient characters who function in a survival mode. So much time is invested in the setup and making the dialogues seem intellectual that there is a lack of depth for the character's development.
Theerppu aims to be an allegory that spans friendships, politics, and history. But what it ends up becoming is a simple revenge story that is intermittent with overt political statements.