Tuesday, February 28, 2006


Thambi is like a Shankar film without the huge budget. It is a well-intentioned film revolving around a protagonist who has lofty ambitions for society and a plan to achieve those ambitions single-handedly. But director Seeman could use a few lessons from Shankar on how to beef up his central message with the right commercial ingredients to make it entertaining and not just visionary.

Thambi(Madhavan) is the local do-gooder. He shows up wherever and whenever injustice happens and puts an end to it. Doing this has made him the thorn in the side of Sankarapandian(Biju Menon), a dada, whose only aim now is to get rid of Thambi. Meanwhile Archana(Pooja), a dancer, whose initial impression of Thambi is that he is a rowdy changes her mind after realizing his true nature and falls for him.

The message that Thambi tries to get across is one that many other movies (Thevar Magan is one that comes to mind) before have attempted to convey - that violence begets violence. Its hero is someone who understands that and is willing to be the one to do whatever it takes to put a stop to the endless cycle of violence. Universal peace, rather than personal revenge, is his goal. So his challenge to the villain is something very different from what we’ve heard heroes utter to villains before. And that comes as a big relief.

The problem is that the film doesn’t have much else on its agenda other than this message. Good intentions can take you only so far. The entire first half is taken up with Madhavan fighting with different rowdies in different settings/locations. The romance is perfunctory and barely registers. It starts in a clichéd manner and proceeds predictably. Having a weak and seemingly very ineffective villain doesn’t help either.

Thambi manages to convey its message across without actually resorting to violence. The director doesn’t use the oft-used-excuse that he cannot convey his message of non-violence without actually showing violence. So though there are fights galore, they are relatively bloodless and real violence, when it occurs, is mostly offscreen. Also, the movie remains true to its message until the very end. The screenplay is developed in a clever fashion to put people in situations where they realize their mistakes. So it ends on a positive note rather than a bloodbath. Sure it’s simplistic and even idealistic. But it manages to get its point across.

Madhavan emotes well but fails in the physical aspect of the role. He is fiery when needed and his rolling eyes and loud voice help him deliver his lines with conviction. But he has put on a lot of weight and with a discernible paunch, is unable to execute all those karate-style punches and kicks with the required grace. Pooja looks great but comedy seems to be her weak point. She is a lot more convincing when she reveals her love to Madhavan than when she screams at him for interrupting her dance performance. Biju Menon is a rather weak villain, though part of the blame lies on the characterization of his role too. This movie is probably the movie with the least screen time for Vadivelu among his recent movies. But the absence of a separate comedy track for him does help in making the movie seem more serious about its message.


At 1:56 AM, Blogger Kaps said...

and the Seeman flop story continues.....wonder why Madhavan spent too much time and effort for this movie.

At 2:37 AM, Blogger Bart said...

Balaji, would this movie have done better with some other hero - say a Parthiban, atleast in B and C centers?
Madhavan, I understand from some reviews, couldn't get into the skin of the character shedding his class appearance... Is it true?

At 4:07 AM, Blogger மு.கார்த்திகேயன் said...

Lack of advertisement is another reason for the flop of the movie..If that is there, they can able to pickup some more money
TFPC has to come up with some good strategy to make their movie to run..
Only Dihyum got good collections after their announcement of not providing anything to TVs..And also for Dishyum, Oscar Ravichandran gave the clippings to SUN Tv..
Hope they have to think of other patterns..otherwise that will make cinema industry to dull...

At 6:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought Madhavan was too loud in the movie. There is a difference between potraying an angry, young man and looking demented. Madhavan crosses into the latter category line many times in the movie (particularly in the college function). This has got to be the first movie where the hero screams constantly while the villian seems composed!!

At 6:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought Madhavan was too loud in the movie. There is a difference between potraying an angry, young man and looking demented. Madhavan crosses into the latter category line many times in the movie (particularly in the college function). This has got to be the first movie where the hero screams constantly while the villian seems composed!!

At 10:41 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

kaps, i thot it was better than 'priyasakhi' though :)

bart, i never felt that. i felt he was a misfit in the physical sense but not otherwise. i think those other reviews were talking about their own image of maddy rather than what maddy did :)

karthik, looks like that has affected all movie released lately!

anon, LOL @ that last comment. but very true :)

At 7:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

balaji...isnt biju menon also villain in agarram yet to release *ing nandha???long overdue....

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At 4:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I quiet liked THAMBI despite it'sd Shortcomings!!!! Madhavan played his "masala" packed role quiet well, and a definite change from his urban/prettyboy roles



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At 12:39 PM, Anonymous Buy Generic Viagra said...

hello I love this film, I want to add this information Thambi is Tamil film released in 2006. The Madhavan, Pooja starrer is directed by Seeman. It carries the message that violence doesn't pay, and is not the answer to the problems of today.

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