Technically, Thaandavam is one of the best films to have emerged out of Kollywood in a long time. Add to that some peppy melodies from GV Prakash and comedy that goes with the narration makes it entertaining.
The film is set in London, with Thanjavur and New Delhi coming only in flashbacks. It opens with Kenny (Vikram), a Pianist in a church and a blind man who is on a vendetta mission in London, which has been ravaged by a series of bomb blasts.
During the night, Kenny becomes an obsessed killing machine and travels in a taxi driven by a crazy MGR fan Sathyan (Santhanam) and goes on a killing spree murdering mostly white men. There is more suspense in the form of a mystery woman Geeta (Lakshmi Rai) who helps Kenny in London.
Kenny meets up with the glamorous Sarah (Amy Jackson) a beauty queen turned model. Constantly on his trail is Veerakathi (Nasser) a London police officer who suspects Kenny’s involvement in the bloody murders that rocks the city. In a flashback mode it is revealed that Kenny is actually a top RAW officer Sivakumar whose buddy was Sarath (Jagapathy Babu), his colleague in the intelligence department. Siva marries Meenakshi (Anushka) an eye surgeon and was leading a peaceful life till fate intervened cruelly and turned his life upside down.
It is Vikram and him alone who diverts your attention from the film's little logical script flaws and spellbinds you with an endearing act that is Thaandavam's biggest strength. Exuding menace with his expressive eyes and body language and the tiniest of tics to make flesh-and-blood characters out of Sivakumar IPS and Kenny the blind man seeking revenge, Vikram is simply terrific. Vijay with the help of Daniel Kish, an echolocation expert has made Vikram’s blind assassin role credible and awesome.
Jagapathy Babu is a refreshing and welcome change in a pivotal character role that’s crucial to the film’s plot. Amy Jackson is camera friendly and Anushka in a matured role is good. Santhanam is the comedy scene stealer as a London taxi driver. Lakshmi gives her best in the small role.
Technically it is Vijay’s best film with superior eye-catching camera by Nirav Shah and peppy melodies by GV Prakash with ‘Oru Paadhi Kadhavu’ being the pick of the lot. The action choreography by Manohar Verma is awesome especially the fast paced fight scene when a blind Vikram is attacked by six foreigners in a London park.
On the downside, logical loopholes are quite obvious. Here's a little sample -An intelligent doctor Anushka thinking that her husband who goes to office in suit and drives a high end SUV is an inspector or SI and recommends to the police commissioner for his promotion is hard to digest. The London police is made to look like a set of idiots. The film is a tad too long at 156 minutes, and at times taxes the viewer’s patience especially the ‘Roja’ like village wedding scenes.
Please note inspite of some gruesome killings in the plotline there is no blood or gore, hardly any smoking scenes, no drinking scenes or even an item number. For an audience numbed by predictable Kollywood potboilers week after week, Thaandavam might take some time to settle into; go in with an open mind and enjoy the ride.
Well done Vijay and UTV for making a film that can be viewed by family audiences.