‘Thaarai Thappattai’

The story has laid its foundation on the life of the folk artists who can’t get into a high profile job that matches their skill, just because they hail from the social subaltern.

Till the climax, Sasi Kumar essaying the role of ‘Sannasi’ appears to play the second fiddle to Varalaxmi. As the movie approached the end, I felt that Sasi Kumar had saved his best for the last.

Sooraavali character demands the actor portraying masculine behaviors in most of the scenes. Varalaxmi has performed it perfectly. Even though Varalaxmi is a trained dancer, the role of ‘Sooraavali’ should have drained her energy a lot as it would have demanded the actor to get into the soul of the character. Varalaxmi has done all she could do to provide life to the character, ‘Sooraavali’.

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It is yet another notable performance from G.M.Kumar. His effort in acting, on the eve of his death in the movie, is commendable.

R K Suresh has provided two different faces to the role enacted by him. After a particular point, he drives the story with beastly ferociousness.

It is always a pleasure to watch a movie, where each and every character involved in the movie complementing the screen play with their acting. It is a double delight to watch a Bala’s movie where each and every character lives their role.

In spite of Thaarai Thappattai being his 1000th movie, Maestro Ilayaraja hasn’t delivered his best in this significant attempt, considering his earlier stints with Bala. He has just offered what this particular movie expects from him.

There are a number of scenes where I could see Bala’s touches. In a scene, Sasi Kumar demands Varalaxmi to promise to him, by placing her hand on a statuette of god, that she would marry the guy whom her mother wishes to. She would respond referring to the figurine by saying that the stone and the mud don’t deserve any worth in front of him.

One among the plus points in Bala’s movies is that the names, characterizations and the demeanours of each and every role are made unique in such a way that the audience do not get confused in recognizing the characters during the course of the movie.

In order to make the audience empathize a heart wrenching moment of a movie, it is agreeable to accept violence in such moments. Violence utilised in this movie is one such agreeable factor.

Along the lines of the old songs medley in ‘Pithamagan’, there is a song sequence in ‘Thaarai Thappattai’ too. The latter features Star Vijay TV’s ‘Jodi’ fame Amudhavaanan and Anandhi. This song showcases us the relaxations that the folk artists make to their principles by performing substandard street performance in order to entertain the audience with low taste and earn money.

I feel that this movie ended up on a conciliatory note as against the negative endings in other movies of Bala.

People watching Bala’s movies casual observations proclaim that his movies are made on a defined template and categorize his movies as a ‘Typical Bala film’. But in most of his attempts, Bala has tried to portray the livelihood of various sections of the marginalized masses. At the same time, he doesn’t fail to expose the dominant nature of the microscopic but dominant minority of our social hierarchy. Film makers like Bala often offer to us with the details regarding the caste discriminations prevailing in our society. Problem is that such offerings are neglected by most of the audience.

THAARAI THAPPATTAI – CHAPTER OF A BOOK DETAILING THE LIFE STORY OF A SOCIALLY NEGLECTED, EXCLUDED AND AN ENSLAVED COMMUNITY WITH RED INK SPRINKLED OVER HERE AND THERE.

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