** Mild Spoilers ahead
“Thaan enthu manushyanaado?” asks Suraj Venjaramoodu to Fahadh Faasil in a pivotal scene from Thondimuthalum Driksakshiyum. In this movie, Fahadh Faasil doesn’t play a character that is one-dimensional like Mahesh in Dileesh Pothan’s debut. Here he is a thief and a crook. His character doesn’t even have a name. His nature and behavior swings from one way to another, not giving you a clue on what he would do next or what kind of a man he is.
Fahadh Faasil’s characterization plays a key role in making Thondimuthalum Driksakshiyum a hugely memorable movie experience. At first glance, Thondimuthalum Driksakshiyum has a pretty simple thread with most things happening in and around a police station. But writer Sajeev Pazhoor actually has an extra-ordinary story to tell about a connection that forms between a thief (Fahadh) and the victims (Suraj and Nimisha Sajayan).
After the classic Maheshinte Prathikaram, Dileesh Pothan takes his liking for realistic cinema few notches further in Thondimuthalum Driksakshiyum. Rajeev Ravi lets his camera move with the movie’s characters. It doesn’t mind shaking when they run or walk on uneven grounds. It doesn’t mind any obstructions that momentarily comes in front of a shot. The movie’s sound design is so perfect that you hear each sound in the premises and surrounding of the police station. Also what beautiful location in Kasargod to let this story roll out. All these let you feel you are right there in middle of the proceedings.
Shyam Puskaran moves away from the screenplay department but his dialogues carries lot of weight once again. A particularly hilarious conversation happens when Alencier Ley takes statement from Suraj and Nimisha on how they lost their necklace on the second day in complete contradiction to what they took the first day.
Bijibal’s background score is pure gold. When Fahadh gives a wicked smile to Nimisha first, the score Bijibal used seemed like a tribute to the one used for Sreenivasan’s character in Mukundetta Sumithra vilikkunnu. When Fahadh has another smile on his face during the chase with Suraj (which is also the movie’s best scene though I do not want to spoil more ) , Bijibal had a beautiful heartwarming score to go with the occasion.
Fahadh Faasil – What an amazing ability he has to transform to the character he plays ! His smile when it writes intermission on the screen is one thing that would be lot discussed in coming days. How he gives a detailed explanation to his cellmate on the finesse a thief should possess was a treat to watch. Even the smallest gestures like where he asks for food to Suraj with handcuffs in his hands but just takes it away when the police comes in evokes laughs. It’s safe to say by now that he is at the cusp of entering the greater league of actors we ever had.
Suraj is not far behind as he is beautifully restrained in a role that he is not usually familiar portraying. He is dejected and tired as he has to spend time around the police station. But he still smiles for few seconds despite all this tension when notices his wife is heading to see what Fahadh and Police are doing in the out. Suraj brings out his emotions with great precision in the movie.
Nimisha Sajayan is a fabulous find. Her chemistry with Suraj is surprisingly good. But even a bigger find is the actor who plays the SI in the movie – Sibi Thomas . In a character that is reminiscent of Nivin Pauly’s character in Action Hero Biju , Sibi owns few moments entirely in the movie with his excellent comic timing. Alencier Ley is superb once again.
The only small negative I found in the movie ( which could be easily ignored too) was a flashback sequence on Suraj and Nimisha after they are in the police station. That could have been done away with since we already know where they would land eventually.
There is a beautiful sequence in the movie where Suraj and Nimisha has a small spat on the necklace they lost. At the end of it , they shed few tears , hold each other and walk to their house. One is a young actress just making her debut. Another is an actor whom we have seen doing comedy most in our industry. But Dileesh Pothan just makes us forget all that . What he lets us see is only two characters in his movie realizing that they should stay close and strong during their hardest times. This gift is what makes this movie special throughout.
Ladies and Gentlemen – Dileesh Pothan has made an Absolutely Brilliant Cinema.
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