After many delays owing to usage of elephants on the screen, M Padmakumar's 'Thiruvambadi Thampan' is finally on theatres. The movie which celebrates the fondness of Malayalees, especially the 'Thrissur'ians, towards elephants tells a story about a family who rear and trade elephants for festivals and other functions. A sumptuously shot movie, this 'Thampan' is worth a watch though it is a bit disjointed on script level.
The movie has Jagathy as Thiruvambadi Mathan Tharakan, the head of Thiruvambady the famous Christian family of Thrissur, who has a history dating back to several decades, when Cochin ruler Shakthan Thampuram invited them to do business. Thirvambady Thampan Tharakan (Jayaram) is the son of Mathen who is currently supporting his father in trading elephants. Apart from their Rahelaamchy(Sreelatha) and uncle Kunjoonju(Nedumudi Venu)much of the members don't love them being in tusker business. But Mathan and Thampan, who are the main say in every big festivals of the region, has emerged the best of the lot in business, supplying elephants far and wide.
Thampan is but resisting the marriage alliances that are coming up for him, as he is in love with Anjali, the daughter of a temple priest(SreeRaman).Though their immediate family members are against the relationship, Thampan with the support of his father manages to hijack the girl from her home and gets married with her at Pollachy. But the life of Thampan and Mathan takes a different turn as something eventful happens as the duo returns from Sonepur gajamela, purchasing a tusker. On the way back to Madhurai, Mathan by chance takes on the an MLA of the region(Kishore), also killing his brother , which ultimately results in the fleeing of the father and son. What follows form the rest of the movie.
'Thiruvambadi Thampan' takes some time to settle and once the backdrop is set, the movie moves on in a reasonably good narrative structure. The not so watertight screenplay by S. Sureshbabu makes it an uneven ride, but definitely there are some very remarkably written sequences. The second half is racier than the first, though a bit of predictability and cliches mar the excellent effort by the director M Padmakumar, who had really tried to pitch the movie as one of the best thrillers coming from the actor Jayaram. Manoj Pillai, who is for the fourth time teaming with the director supports him well with a fine camera work, capturing Madurai,Rameshwaram and Thrissur in an appropriate manner. Ouseppachan's songs are average and gel well with the movie, but his B G Scores elates the mood of the flick in the second half, giving it an air of the rustic Tamil thrillers.
In the acting side Jayaram tries his level best to suit the demands of the role and does his role appreciably, particularly in the lighter scenes . But had the movie got a more popular star in it who also can also do action more effectively, it would have worked wonders in the career of the crew.
The makers find it difficult to lip-sync the sound for Jagathy's character, which appear finer only at times. Kishore, in his debut to Mollywood, really impresses with his body language and acting. The rest of the cast also play their parts well.The technical side including the editing by Samjad Muhammed are notable.
All in all, this 'Thampan' may satisfy you in parts and for the devotees of thriller movies, this could be a handful. Watch it for its pompous big scale presentations and a wonderful directorial works of M Padmakumar, who had managed the show well, though one of the lead cast was unavailable in the final parts, ailing at hospital .