Thottappan Review: this will stay with you for some time
The new Shanavas Bavakkutty movie Thottappan scripted by PS Rafeeq is an immersive portrayal of real care. The movie shows us the love of people who are sort of considered as unlikable. The script of this movie is a good example of how to use subplots and minor characters to give more layers to the main characters of a movie. The achingly beautiful tale of love is one that will stay with you for some time.
Johnappan and Ithaque were thieves and they were also very close to each other. In fact, they were so close that Johnappan decided to make Ithaque the Godfather of his daughter Sarah. On the day of Sarah's betrothal, Johnappan goes missing and Ithaque felt responsible for what happened to him and decided to dedicate his life for the well being of Sarah. Thottappan talks about this least verbal yet so deep relationship between these two characters.
The movie is so character driven that it has the feel of those 80's classics which were built on basic revenge plots but managed to do so much more than that in terms of character exploration. Shanavas Bavakkutty captures the quirkiness and roughness that PS Rafeeq adds in his signature writing. In the entirely grey world of Thottappan, we are given some really peculiar characters who initially act as comic reliefs, but eventually adds to the build up of the character of Ithaque. When compared to his preachy yet realistic debut film Kismat, Shanavas Bavakkutty has evolved very much as a filmmaker and Thottappan is a proof for that.
The grumpy Vinayakan most of us are familiar with is present for a major portion of this movie. But the actor really scores in those occasional sequences which display the softer and vulnerable side of Ithaque. The rudeness and care were portrayed skillfully by him. Priyamvadha Krishnan plays the role of Sarah and I must say that for a new comer, this was a really stand out performance. The actress shares a nice on screen chemistry with Vinayakan and Roshan Mathew. It was actually a joy to watch Roshan Mathew exploring new terrains with his acting chops. As Ismu, he was really convincing and the way he has picked up the dialect and the body language just makes all of it so rough and real. Like I said, the movie is abundant with characters and almost every actor who took up the roles were memorable.
The craft behind one particular scene where Ismu runs after committing a crime somehow depicts the quality shift in Shanavas Bavakkutty's making. He uses terrific imagery to give impact to the script written by PS Rafeeq. Rafeeq applies his sense of dark humour in the script and the movie also becomes a mirror of the socio-political reality of the '90s. Like I already said, the movie uses the characters to add different kinds of layers to each character. The cinematography offers some breathtaking visuals. The music was good and the background score was on point.
The many characters in Thottappan helps it in creating that world. And through all those characters, we get to know the heart of Ithaque and Sarah. So ultimately when the movie ends on that lonely note, there is an empathy that gets generated and that pain is the success of this film.
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