Thottappan, Directed by Shahnavas K. Bhavakutty, with Vinayakan as a protagonist hit the theaters today.
Thottappan is the adaptation of the much talked about short story of Francis Norohna has done justice to the author. Instead of taking the entire story, the director had handpicked the powerful characters and gave life to it. Vinayakan has once again proved that he is an exceptional actor and had further given life to the central character as the author, Norohna had visualised.
The story of Thottappan unfurles on a Thuruthu (Island) with all the trappings of a village. Two souls love unconditionally, Ithakka (Vinayakan) and Johnappan (Dileesh Pothan), who are petty thieves. Johnappan need not get the approval from his own wife, to decide that Ithakka is going to be the Thottappan (God Father) at the time of their daughter’s baptism, for they were trust Johnappan had for his friend Ithakka. Johanappan is running around inviting people for his daughter’s baptism, while his friend Thottappan was for ever with him to extend any kind of help. Then the twist comes. Johnappan goes missing at the time of baptism in a strange way and since then, Ithakka will take charge of Jhonappan’s daughter Sarah. A rare fondness and affection develops between Sarah and Thottappan. When Ithakka dedicates his whole life for Sarah, what Sarah is doing for Ithakka in reciprocation is the crux of the movie Thottappan.
Ithakka, enacted by Vinayagan is the cardinal character and the soul of the film. Literally, Vinayagan is living as the character in the movie right from the beginning till the end. Although, he seemed to be rough while he deals with the people in that Thuruth, when it comes to Sarah, Ithakka melts with filial affection. While portraying various emotions such as affection, sympathy, sorrow, mental turbulence and anger, Vinayagan is once again proving that he is an exceptional actor with his exemplary performance. The response from the audience is palbable that right from the start till the end, the cine-goers were seen rejoicing each and every frame of Ithakka. Last, but not the least, Vinayagan had taken efforts to break the monotony and ensured that not a shade of his previous characters he portrayed did not influence Ithakka.
The new comer, Priyamvatha’s acting skills as Sarah, the daughter of Jhonappan, has done her job well. She has enacted the role of Sarah with much ease and she was looking so confident and seasoned, not to mention that at times, she was standing shoulder to shoulder with Vinayagan in terms of performance. Like Priyamvatha, another find in this movie is the actor, Roshan Mathew. Roshan has donned the role of Ismu (Ismail) and had done justice to the role. Roshan Mathew has proved that he is going to stay in the Malayalam film industry. Similarly, Raghunath Paleri, who comes as Adruman, has grabbed the attention of the audience with his scintillating performance. Other actors such as Manoj K Jayan, Lal and Dileesh Pothan have done their respective characters with elan and none of the actors have overacted or proved themselves as spent force.
The director’s success lies in the fact that from the first frame on wards, the audience forget their presence in the theater. For, such was the power of direction that the camera takes each audience through the by lanes of the Thuruth in a hasty manner, not allowing a minute’s time to stop, think and make conclusions for the audience. The whole of Thottappan gives an impression to the audience that they were indulged in the reality of life beyond the movie. In addition to the characters of Thottappan, even nature is included on the wide canvas by Shahnavas K Bhavakutty. Everything in that island comes out on that wide canvas as characters, be it prawn farm or the Toddy shop, Ithakka’s house or the cat by name Umma Kulsu…Tippu the dog in addition to all the living things in that island becomes live characters and enters the screen for the audience to rejoice.
P.S. Rafeeq, who wrote the screenplay has done justice to Francis Noronha’s story by giving importance to each characters and the dialogues too are perfectly synced with the story and the characters. A big credit goes to the cinematographer, Suresh Rajan, whose camera only grabs the audience attention right from the first shot. Apparently, there isn’t a bit of lag anywhere throughout the movie that makes the scenes riveting and the audience sitting in rapt attention. When camera and the direction stood out, along with brilliant portrayal of all characters including the animals and other objects too, to keep the audience further engaged, music and the background score added immensely. The music is in perfect sync with the situations depicted on screen. While the music by Girish M Leela Kuttan gave the much needed relief to the instance action packed story line, the background score by Justin helped to heighten the emotions in the movie without even allowing the audience from being conscious about the fact that they are sitting inside the cinema hall and watching a movie.
Thottappan has been produced under the banner Pattam Cinema Company by Devadas Kadanjeri and Shailaja Manikandan. Though, Thottappan is not a movie about celebration, nevertheless, through the bonding and affection between Thottappan and Sarah without reciprocal expectation gives the film a reason to celebrate. The movie is offering highest artistic value by portraying the selfless love of the villagers, ordinary natives of the village and the magnanimity of humanity in ample measure. The star cast is exceptional and each character is vying for each other in terms of proving themselves exceptional than the other. The crew has done a thorough homework before the shoot began. One week prior to the commencement of the shoot, the entire crew met in Thrissur and did thorough rehearsal. All the characters were given enough time by the director to familiarise with their characters and when the shoot began, it is the proverbial cake walk. Good work Shanavas and team. Thottappan is a movie, which you can watch with your family, for there is room for excitement for the audience belonging to different age group. To recapitulate, Thottappan gives you value for money in addition to providing a wonderful story of humanity, something that will linger in your mind for a long time.