With The Gray Man, Dhanush proved that he is a mass action hero in Hollywood. With Thiruchitrambalam, he proves that he is still that simple and loveable boy-next-door he started his career with in Kollywood.
The story revolves around the young man Thiruchitrambalam (Dhanush) who was full of life, a bright student at school but quit his education to become a food delivery executive after a tragic incident.
Thiruchitrambalam a.k.a Pazham which means wuss in Tamil, is a nickname that our hero hates. His world is all about his dad (Prakash Raj), granddad (Bharathiraja) and his childhood best friend (Nithya Menen).
Teaming up with his bestfriend, he is on a quest to find his soulmate through his high school crush (Rashi Khanna) and a girl he meets at a village function (Priya Bhavani Shankar), while grappling with his trauma.
Dhanush’s Thiruchitrambalam is the perfect blend of a feel-good slice of life family drama and a cute romantic comedy.
There are shades of his previous blockbuster hits like Velaiilla Pattadhari (VIP) and Yaaradi Nee Mohini. But Thiruchitrambalam doesn’t borrow more than the similarities like a timid youngster, the fun father-son banter and a painful past they both share.
The story is still fresh, simple and very well-told. Casting of the film is on point. Everyone perfectly fits and aces in the roles they play.
Even one action sequence in the film looks raw and realistic. While it could have been tempting to go for a mass action block especially with a hero like Dhanush in hand, director Mithran scores in making it look so natural showing how a boy-next-door would fight if he was thrown into such a situation. The incoherent thrashes on the goon was more like Dhanush fist fighting with his inner demons and fears.
With impactful dialogues, the film eases out the unnecessary guilt that senior citizens and people with disabilities usually feel and treats them with dignity.
The sequences between the granddad, dad and son make you laugh and cry as and when they want to, depicting the emotional and hilarious bond between them. The situational and dark humor works brilliantly as the characters are witty and have an enjoyable comedic sense. With references of 90's kids being single and Ilayaraaja songs, the film is relatable and puts a wide smile on everyone's face.
Music and background score by Anirudh Ravichander simply accentuates the mood of the film. The beautiful dance choreography of ‘Megham Karukatha’ song in the middle of the desolate road with dim street lights looks like a hybrid version of ‘City of Stars' from La La Land and ‘Vennilave Vennilave’ from Minsara Kanavu. Also I don't think you're human if you don't tap your feet for the peppy number ‘Thai Kelavi’.
While most of the dialogues in the film are a huge plus, I wish some were worded differently. For example Bharathiraja says, “Are you both ret***s?" for laughs, to describe that Dhanush and Nithya were silly in that scene.
Dhanush, who is not so fond of his dad because of his abuse, suddenly when he is wheelchair-bound says, ”That man (dad) looks great only when he is hitting me and walking like a majestic animal."
While the intent was to express his regret and admiration for his dad’s charisma before the accident, it comes across as glorification of abuse especially because, a few scenes before, there was a brilliant scene where Nithya Menen schools Prakash Raj on how to be a non-abusive yet caring parent. Nithya also mocks Dhanush for driving a scooty and not a bike. Why? Because it is what the stereotypical macho male drives?
The climax is quite predictable too. 'Why can’t two best friends just be best friends forever? Why should they choose marriage as the promotion for their friendship? Haven’t we seen this cliched representation of childhood friends as potential romantic partners in films like Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na or Piriyadha Varam Vendum?' are a few questions we might ask.
However, director Mithran R Jawahar simply shuts us up with a heartwarmingly pictured climax that makes us quit cribbing any further and celebrate the lead pairs’ unison. You truly brim with happiness when they come together.
The film has a recurring voiceover from Dhanush which states that, "Even small mistakes can have fatal effects." However, as a film, it proves this message wrong as the aforementioned flaws in Thiruchitrambalam are not fatal and it overpowers the minor disturbances to deliver such an amazing experience.
Thiruchitrambalam is running in cinemas now.