Kerala: December 20, 2019
Delh: December 27, 2019
Jayasurya, Swathi Reddy, Mallika Sukumaran, Vijay Babu, Sudev Nair, Manikuttan, Sreejith Ravi, T.G. Ravi
A discussion on Thrissur Pooram is not possible without referring to other Malayalam films of this genre that were released in 2019: the Tovino Thomas starrer Kalki
The camerawork in Thrissur Pooram is pathetic. Poorly constructed frames are set up to magnify personalities but fail miserably not just because heroes captured in repeated low-angle shots and groups of people turning corners in slow motion are done to death, but because DoP R.D. Rajasekar cannot even get his angles right. In one scene, as a man gazes down from an under-construction high-rise building at a body on the ground way below, far from seeming gigantic or intimidating, he looks comical and oddly stunted.
Just as I was consoling myself with the thought that at least the depiction of violence here is not as voyeuristic and horrifying as in Kalki, there comes a murder in Thrissur Pooram that will remain forever embedded in my mind. In a scene towards the end, a man drives a knife into another’s abdomen and the camera actually zooms in on the wound as blood gradually spreads across the victim’s shirt and the killer keeps rotating the weapon to destroy the dying man’s insides.
The cast does full justice to this vacuous script by delivering vacuous performances. Jayasurya gives himself a choice between precisely two expressions throughout: deadpan or mild grimace. Ms Sukumaran looks suitably grim. Ms Reddy looks nothing. Even Indrans, who has in the past extracted a moment or two of quality from the worst of scripts, over-acts in a couple of scenes.
2019 has largely been a great year for the Malayalam film industry a.k.a. Mollywood. Every few months though, just as we are celebrating the lyricism of a Kumbalangi Nights, the poignance of an Uyare or the audaciousness of a Jallikattu, along comes a Thrissur Pooram to remind us of how bad bad can be
Rating (out of 5 stars): 0.75
CBFC Rating (India):
This review has also been published on Firstpost:
Visuals courtesy: https://www.facebook.com/pg/Jayasuryajayan/