Thadam by Magizh Thirumeni is an effective murder mystery involving identical twins
Kollywood – and cinema, in general – has seen many identical twin-based subjects. Twins falling in love with the same girl. Twins impersonating each other and wreaking havoc in the lives of others. We’ve seen it so many times in the past that it seems highly unlikely that something can give the same-old subject a new angle. Thadam does.
It’s based on a real life incident, it says right at the start. The film ends with information on similar incidents in other countries. All this helps lending authenticity to an otherwise incredulous storyline.
It involves Ezhil and Kavin (Arun Vijay), who are both shown in different milieus. One works in a corporate company and has to try really hard at taking the girl he likes out for “coffee” (the inverted quotes are deliberate, and is actually part of a cute romance sequence). But the other is a con artist who has to conjure up intelligent plans to make his money. There’s an entire sequence involving an ATM machine that reminded me of the bike theft sequence in Polladhavan…only in terms of how it opens your eye to new-age crimes.
Thadam takes quite some time to settle down – there are a few times when you get confused if it’s Ezhil or Kavin you’re watching on the big screen. But once it sets the tone for the two main characters, and a few others in a police station, it kicks off.
The second half is where the meat is. That’s where Arun Vijay scores; he delivers a competent performance as both Ezhil and Kavin, showing variations rather subtly. Director Magizh Thirumeni not only gets his lead characters right but also etches a solid character for the female cop Malar (Vidya Pradeep in an effective performance). He does miss a trick, though, by giving us weakly-written female leads (Tanya Hope and Smruthi) who feature in a few sequences and songs that seem to have been put together in haste.
The flashback to the twins’ (and a lengthy tale revolving around Sonia Aggarwal) might act as a speedbreaker to an otherwise taut storyline, but the twist in the end makes up for most of it. It’s something you didn’t see coming, and Magizh ought to have ended it right there, instead of trying to give the film a feel-good sort of finish. Barring these few missteps, Thadam is mostly a taut thriller that keeps you engaged till the very end.