8 Thottakkal – Movie Review

Debut director Sri Ganesh is someone very popular in the short film industry for the thought provoking and realistic short films that he had directed for the ‘Naalaiya Iyakkunar’ show and ‘Star Vijay’ channel. The teaser trailer of his debut feature film ‘8 Thottakkal‘ was very impressive; after the press show that opened to highly positive reviews last week, the expectations for this film had raised a lot among movie buffs.

Sathya (Debutant Vetri) is a soft-spoken and peace-loving policeman who doesn’t want to invite any troubles into his life by interfering in other’s issue. However, he faces a big threat to his career when his gun is pickpocketed in a city bus. What happens when a Cop’s gun loaded with 8 bullets goes to the hand of a common man forms the crux of this film.

Sri Ganesh has come out with a fantastic thriller that stands out in terms of writing and treatment. It is not made as a mere action thriller that is about the search of the gun or the mission of catching the accused, but it is an emotional thriller – a story of people and emotions. The emotions of the protagonist Sathya (who suffered in his childhood for a crime that he didn’t do), the accused and the central characters of the film. Look out for the interestingly narrated backstories of the 3 people involved in the bank robbery – the episode that tells about their need for money.

The plot setup and character establishments are solid. The scene where a cop says ‘Othaa ellaam periya ketta vaarthai illa’, followingly how the police handles that case with the jewel shop owner, Sathya and Meera buying a new typewriter for the old man, the scene where Pandiyan speaks for the first time to Sathya calling him a spineless cop, Meera’s selfish act to save her job, the scenes where Moorthy is misunderstood by his partners, Moorthy’s family which disowns him – every emotion is beautifully conveyed to this audience in this well-made thriller. The dialogues are sharply written that we root for the characters’ feelings. Here are few dialogues to mention ‘Vaazhkkaiyila, ellaarkittayum namma pakka niyaayathai sollanum nu thonaadhu illa…?’ ‘Kaayamum valiyum manushanukku mukkiyam, adhu mattum dhan oruthanai maathum..’ ‘Unakku help pannumbodhu nallava, ippo naan kettava’nnaa adhu un prachinai..’ ‘Ellaathaiyum correct ah pannittom, edhaachum thappu pannuvom nu police kaathuttu irukaanga..’ ‘Nalladhe sei nalladhe nadakkum nu sonnavan mattum kaiyila kedaichaa, seruppaala adippen sir…’ ‘Naattula vilaivaasi mattum dhan sir yeruthu, namma sambalam yeramaattudhu’ – each dialogue speaks life!!

‘8 Thottakkal’ is not a spotless movie, it has its share of flaws. The pace in the second half and the lengthy sequences (especially in the pre-climax), logical lags in few scenes (say the bank robbery scene which looked a bit conveniently made) might be an issue for a set of audience. Above all, both the songs in the film look badly placed – such a thriller did not deserve to have a song at all. The audience would have accepted it, as it is; the songs were a very big distraction. However, these minuses doesn’t make ‘8 Thottakkal’ just an average film – it is a very good entertainer that deserves to be enjoyed in the theatre.

Except for the lead actor Vetri (he is good at times where seems to be underplaying, but, in most scenes his nullified reactions are bothering), the casting is perfect. Aparna Balamurali who did a fantastic job in ‘Mahesinte Prathikaram’ is seen in a very small role. The show-stealer of this film is actor M.S.Bhaskar who carries the whole film on his shoulders in the second half. This veteran actor who has been underutilized in our industry for years, in meager comedy roles for most time, has proven his potential once again that he would roar majestically if roles as in ‘Mozhi’ ‘8 Thottakkal’ are offered to him. Every other actor including Nasser, Mime Gopi, Manikandan, Lallu, T Siva has done their part convincingly.

‘8 Thottakkal’ is another gold to Tamil cinema in the recent times, following ‘Dhuruvangal 16’, ‘Maanagaram’ and ‘Kuttram 23’.  Let us all welcome debutant Sri Ganesh to the league of promising young filmmakers.  Please do render the much needed support to small budget films like this, watch them in the theater.  Let us make it another ‘D16’ or ‘Maanagaram’ in terms of success, but not a ‘Uriyadi’ or ‘Rajathandhiram’.

– Rahman

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