When T K Rajeev Kumar landed with the immensely lovable 'Chanakyan' in 1987, (with Kamalhassan in the lead) he was touted as the next best creator to rise from Mollywood, after the likes of Padmarajan. But sadly though, the immensely talented director was not able to liveup to the expectations thereafter and failed to convert movies into bigger hits. Though each of his movies carried a stamp of a different director, most of them sank in the B O due to some smaller faults, which projected much ahead of their otherwise well knit narratives. Adding to his list of such movies is ' Thalsamayam Oru Penkutty', an inspiring concept that went appallingly wrong on execution.
The movie inspired from Hollywood films like ED TV and the Truman Show, tries to make the best of the current interest on reality television. Here we have a village girl Manjula Ayyapan(Nithya Menon), who is selected to be the first participant in the show titled the same as the movie. The cameras are to follow the girl during the day time for a month which will go on live, to boost the chances of TRP ratings of an otherwise news channel owned by scheming Ravikumar(Siddhique, who speak in a peculiar irritable accent) .And as expected there are ' sms' parades and daily ratings which decide on how to plan the rest of the days of the show.
The movie goes on to tell , how this naïve girl from a modest background takes on the real issues around her starting from waste disposal problems of the city to the young molester in a public transport bus, with the support of Zarina (Shwetha Menon), the producer of the programme. In her days in front of camera, she also meets Surya(Unni Mukundan) an ever stammering boy who works as an assistant choreographer in films. Then without showing how the channel head's manipulate things , a movie on reality show can never get on to a conclusion.
The biggest highlight of the movie is its theme that appears very interesting on paper. Though the initial reels are inviting enough withattention-grabbing premise and some truly wonderful scenes, the movie is not able to hold interest in its entirety. The shots of the lady followed by a group of cameras appear amateurish to the core. If you are to ask a producer of a local channel, he would have got better options for how to hide the cameras and use the mirco gadgets that could have given a little more believability and credibility for the proceedings (as the entire show is manipulated that we get to know later). And the scenes showing the same bunch of people like the treadmill guys, shopping ladies and girls in hostels, doing the same routines, for all the month appear extremely ludicrous. Sunny Joseph and Manuel George's debut scripts has got plenty of loopholes. Rajeevkumar has filmed a couple of sequences well, but no actor or director, howsoever talented he is, can reinvigorate and strengthen a weak screenplay
Nithya Menon is the saving grace of the movie who impresses us most of the time, though there is a déjà vu in her characterizations at times. Ably supporting her is Shwetha Menon and Tiny Tom. Unni Mukundan as the lead man is much impressive, though his role has less screentime.
The movie is a little lengthier at two hours and 45 minutes and towards the end loses the plot squarely. The final appears hurried and looks out sink with the flow of the narratives. Vinod Ellampilly's visuals and Sharreth's music are okay.
All in all, 'Thatsamayam Oru Penkutty' is an excellent idea wasted on an sacrilegious inconsistent script, which lacks the energy and dynamism to keep you hooked. Had the scripts got to be innovative, and the director walked the untrodden path, the movie would have made you say 'What an idea, Sirji'