‘Thundu’ movie review: Biju Menon’s drama runs out of ideas to stay engrossing – The Hindu

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February 16, 2024 05:06 pm | Updated 06:56 pm IST
Biju Menon in a still from ‘Thundu’
When a lot of things go wrong in a film, it is hard to pin it down to one or two factors. But a few things do stick out sorely, like the scene transitions in Riyas Shereef’s Thundu. Some transitions are so illogical that there is even a song which starts out on a sad philosophical note, with a policeman wallowing in misery, which then transitions two minutes later into a party song with all the fellow policemen dancing their heart out, for no reason at all.
At other places, sequences are cut abruptly with even the background score coming to a jarring halt and shifting to the next cue. Speaking of helpful background cues, there is no dearth of such nudges to give us a clue about what we are supposed to feel in each scene. If not for these helpful musical cues, we might find it hard to recognise some of the supposedly humourous tracks in this movie. The makers should also have considered adding some canned laughter, like they do with some television shows, because the audience were really struggling to laugh.
Thundu is built on a very thin premise, of a policeman taking a leaf out of his son’s book and resorting to cheating in a promotion examination. Constable Baby (Biju Menon), who has served long years in the police force, wants to move up so that he no longer has to bear slights from some of his superiors. But, this doesn’t go as he planned, and he lands in one trouble after another, everything from road accidents to the suspected pregnancy of a police dog, all of which are supposed to be funny.
Engaging films have been made from seemingly simple ideas, but Thundu clearly is not one of those. The narrative, which remains stuck for most parts, is then loaded with a collage of ideas to tease out laughter. Much of it ends up failing spectacularly. Character development is mostly absent, especially evident in how actors like Shine Tom Chacko and Unnimaya Prasad are reduced to doing almost the same things throughout the movie. A late attempt is made to bring some sort of background to explain Constable Baby’s character, but even this does not work. Most of the actors sleepwalk through their roles, for the script does not demand much of them.
The film fails to excite at any point, so that even the short runtime of around 120 minutes feels stretched. Other than some novel ideas on how to cheat in an examination using creatively hidden bits of paper, Thundu has nothing new to offer. If only there were similar shortcuts to make an engrossing film.
Thundu is currently running in theatres
Malayalam cinema / Indian cinema
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