Welcome to the newest edition of TJ's Thoughts. Hold your applause, maybe forever.
"I'm sitting in front of this blank page on my laptop. I need to write a 1000-word review describing the highs, lows and the journeys to those highs and lows for Thoota. Who really reads these 1000-word dives into random films? Apparently, everyone really cares only about the numerical rating. Could I just type the letter "A" a thousand times and call it a day? Would anyone really notice? I guess the editor would notice. Hmm.
I wish I'd worked for fullhyd.com in 2016. I probably would have reviewed Saahasame Swassaga Sagipo. I could have just copy-pasted the same one here and no one would have known the difference. Damn, missed an easy paycheck right there. I can think that because time is money and I've spent five hours of my life watching the same story twice. Should I really spend another three hours analyzing the same thing?
The story of Thoota is that of a carefree young man, Raghu (Dhanush), who falls in love with a damsel-in-distress, Lekha (Megha Akash). The first half of the film is filled with peppy songs and tenderly scripted conversations with said damsel. The distress follows the damsel soon after and Raghu is thrust into action. Thootas fly all around him and he outsmarts his way into saving the day.
Yay, Raghu? Wait why do I care again?
The only reasons Gautham Vasudev Menon gives me to give this movie a second thought is his style of narration. Saahasame Swasaga Sagipo fit the bill of a traditional narrative. Thoota narrates its narrative with a whole lot of voice-over narration.
Nice, some alliteration right there. Use that line when you write the review, and someone might give you credit for being smarter than you actually are. Stop being self-centered and start thinking about the movie you just watched.
Some of the narration is decent, some of it is outright bad, but most of it is wholly unnecessary. It is unnecessary because I got no window into the mind of the character. It would be akin to me narrating my process of reviewing a film. The reviews follow the same format and talk about the same thing. Anyone with a working brain knows how I look at a film. Why would I need to explain something so obvious to our obviously smart readers?
Use this line, too, you can score some brownie points with the netizens. Netizens. *Sigh* What a stupid word.
Back to work.
If I ever watch Thoota a second time, I should conduct an experiment. I should close my eyes and just listen to the film as it goes along. I'm pretty sure I can gauge the goings-on of story without ever once looking at the screen. The characters rarely gave me a reason to watch them simply because these are standard GVM character archetypes. The references to mechanical engineering, the just-pass hero, the white bright colours during the courtship, dark hues in the second half, the deep-voiced dame who kind of becomes good-for-nothing after the first half, a villain with a clear goal who revels in misogyny and in turn is a clear opposite to the hero, and so on.
I've heard that people stop trying to grow personally when they feel like they've hit their personal heights. Did GVM stop growing as a writer as well? Why does his writing feel so familiar? Does he not know that familiarity breeds contempt? Is he the equivalent of Brahmanandam telling the same story about Kota Srinivas Rao in Santhosham
? Should I be laughing at GVM now? I don't want to - he has given us a few too many classics.
And it is not that the film is all bad. The romantic banter is romantic. The fights have a psychology to them. The funny lines are actually funny, and the songs have been busting charts and warming hearts for nearly three years.
Then there is Dhanush. Ah, Dhanush. How did you transition from that awkward looking boy from Thullavado Illamai to an actual romantic leading man and make it look so organic? How are you this good in everything? How does your mere presence elevate average material by a couple of notches? How is it that I know that even after all of this the best is yet to come?
This level of affable packaging makes Thoota bearable if not watchable. I did sit through it with my attention intact because it kept me somewhat engaged. So, it is not all bad, I guess. Well, nothing in life is never really all bad. Except for this film's title - now that's bad. The Tamil title Enai Noki Paayum Thota (a bullet comes at me) hints at the kind of movie this is going to be. Calling it Thoota offers no such insight.
Let's call it a day for all this thinking and write an actual review."
A AAAAAAAAA - that's ten words out of a thousand right there.