Tamil Reviews

Thozha Review: Textbook Tamil

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Thozha Motion PosterA scene in Thozha: Cheenu (Karthi) witnesses Vikram Aditya (Nagarjuna), a quadriplegic billionaire whom he cares for, buying a painting worth an extraordinary amount of money. Cheenu is aghast (“Forty thousand euros for a nosebleed!” Driss gasps in The Intouchables, the French original). He then takes Vikram out for a stroll in his wheelchair – and when the latter eyes a huge clock tower in the city, Cheenu quickly points out that it’s not for sale (“Adhellam arasaanga sothu saar. Vikkamaatanga!”). It’s one of the few laugh out loud moments in this Vamsi P remake.

The Intouchables was a socio-cultural hit; the tale of a wealthy, crippled aristocrat who relied heavily on his black caregiver to show him the sights again. It does take a little warming up to, but Driss is quite a character. He’s not all that boisterous as Karthi, certainly no North Madras swagger (that’s really how you show economic divide in Tamil Nadu, by the way – shove ’em in one of those dilapidated housing-boards)  – but quite …feisty in his own way.

“I know this!” Driss exclaims while listening to the ‘Spring’ sonnet of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons at a classical music performance. “The Paris Benefit Office! All our lines are currently busy…”

And then, “Bach was hot. Women went for him. He was the Barry White of his day.”

How can you not like him?

There’s little to negligible emotion here, but Driss, in all his indifference, and sudden, surprising waves of sympathy is made much of in Thozha. In Thozha, Cheenu is temperamental in equal parts. He falls in love with Tamannaah (all pretty dresses and pumps), gets poetic, has a mother to whom he has to prove himself to, and a sister to be married (off). He also calls Nagarjuna ‘anna‘, berates Prakash Raj (as Vikram Adithya’s lawyer friend) for not being Tamil enough because he doesn’t invite Cheenu in for a meal, and tries to get Vikram to meet his ex-girlfriend (only to find out that she’s happily married).

That’s not all. There is a duet or two (shot in Paris for added effect), a ‘special’ number with a skimpily-clad danseuse, transgender-baiting, Vivekh, with a separate comedy track, and dreary family drama. Lovely local flavours, really.

*****

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