Producer- Alexander John
Director- M Padmakumar
Cast- Jayaram, Haripriya, Jagathy Sreekumar, Kishore, Nedumudi Venu, Jayaprakash, Samuthirakani etc.
Review By : Unni R Nair/ Kerala9.com
If you ask me if I was bored watching ‘Thiruvampadi Thampan’, I’d have to come out with a very honest ‘no’. But then, when I look back on the film that I have seen, I realize that I haven’t carried with me anything when I left the theatre and that I wouldn’t have lost much if I hadn’t seen the movie. But of course there were certain things good about the film, which I liked while watching and which would have made a better impact if the film was scripted better and directed better.
‘Thiruvampadi Thampan’ is the story of Thiruvampadi Mathan Tharakan (Jagathy Sreekumar) and his son Thiruvampadi Thampan (Jayaram), who love elephants and go around supplying elephants to organizers of temple festivals and other such events. In the meantime, Thampan reveals that he is in love with a Brahmin girl Anjali (Haripriya). It’s his father who stands by him and helps him marry Anjali, in spite of opposition from others in the film.
Things go smooth till the father-sun duo set out to Sonpur to buy an elephant from the elephant mela. On the way back, they pass through Madurai. It’s at Madurai that they cross tracks with the very powerful Shakthivel (Kishore). Mathan Tharakan accidentally happens to clash with Shakthivel and even hits Shakthivel with his car in a bid to escape them. Since they understand that it could be dangerous to stay on in Madurai, they flee the city, with timely help by Xavier (T G Ravi), who runs a garage there.
Soon, Shakthivel’s brother dies and he decides to avenge his brother’s death. He pledges to hunt down the guy who is responsible for that. He had just caught a glimpse of Mathan Tharakan, but doesn’t know who he is. Anyway, he sets out, determined to avenge the death of his brother. Thampan meanwhile comes to know of this and is determined to save his father at all costs.
So that’s what ‘Thiruvampadi Thampan’ is all about. Hey, do I hear you asking questions? Yes, lots of questions could come up. Is it about love for elephants? Is the film about the love between a Christian guy and a Brahmin gal? Is it about a father and son and their bonding? Is it a revenge story? Well ‘Thiruvampadi Thampan’ is all this and that is what makes it go shallow. Had the writer and the director worked a bit more carefully and made it focus more on the revenge aspect and related drama and sidelined all else, it would have been much better. As of now, ‘Thiruvampadi Thampan’ just gives you some moments of intense drama and some good performances from some key players and turns out to be just a so so kind of film.
Jayaram is good in the title role. Tamil actor Kishore steals the show as Shakthivel while Jayaprakash (Tamil producer turned actor) and Samuthirakani (Tamil director-actor who has already done a key role in Padmakumar’s earlier ‘Shikkar’) too put in good performances. Jagathy Sreekumar doesn’t impress us much, especially since his sound seems to be dubbed by someone else, following his accident and hospitalization. Mimicking doesn’t work here in his case. Haripriya doesn’t have much to do and all the others in the cast are just so so.
Technical aspects are all in tune with the subject and Manoj Pillai’s frames stand out as excellent.
Songs set to tune by Ouseppachan are not bad, but they won’t stay for long in our hearts and memories.
S. Suresh Babu does it again; he loses yet another good opportunity. Suresh Babu is a script writer who has got great opportunities and who has sort of missed those by not being able to make the most of them. ‘Dadasahib’, ‘Thandavam’ and of course ‘Thiruvampadi Thampan’ too are examples. It’s the script that plays foil in the case of this film. If the writer had focused primarily on the revenge drama and if he had paid better attention to characterization and packaging, the film would have been better.
M Padmakumar is in control as the director, but with the script that he bases his film on, there is not much that he could do to make the film outstanding or extremely impressive. ‘Thiruvampadi Thampan’ definitely won’t rank amongst his best films, but let’s take solace in the thought that he is the one who made the utterly insufferable ‘Parunthu’ too.
Verdict: Bad script makes it go bad; some good moments, some good performances!