CAST: Nagarjuna, Karthi, Tamannah, Prakash Raj
DIRECTION: Vamsi Paidipally
Thozha is an official remake of the French comedy-drama ‘The Intouchables’. But director Vamsi’s adaptation of the ‘dram-edy’ to suit the Tamil nativity, retaining the soul of the flick is exceptional. The film’s two lead actors Karthi and Nagarjuna literally carry the film on their shoulders.
The film opens with Seenu (Karthi), a happy go lucky guy and a petty thief coming out of jail on parole with the help of his lawyer friend (Vivekh). For him money is everything. His mother (Jayasudha), a clerk in the railways, disowns him as she thinks he would spoil his siblings as well. He is in dire need of a job that will show him as a do-gooder to get a permanent release from jail.
Meanwhile, we are introduced to Vikramadithya (Nagarjuna), a quadriplegic billionaire, who is paralysed below the neck and is on the look out for a caretaker. Adithya hates people looking at him with sympathy and his legal adviser (Prakash Raj) is also his best friend. He has a charming and high profile secretary Keerthi (Tamannah).
After interviewing a dozen men, finally he finds something special in Seenu and chooses him. Stunned by Adithya’s palatial styled house and a glamorous Keerthi, Seenu accepts the job with initial reluctance. The rest of the story is about how the duo, over a period of time bond over their camaraderie and help solve each other’s problems. The story is also narrated in a breezy and humorous manner.
Karthi has a terrific screen presence and is unstoppable. Given an author-backed role, he shines and proves his versatility once again. With his perfect blend of body language and diction, he radiates the déclassé nature. Nagarjuna brings out a gamut of emotions with his facial expressions and voice, and quite literally sweeps you off your feet with his brilliant performance in this challenging role. The two complement each other in their ‘bromance’ act. Taking Nag’s romantic image in to consideration, the director has added a sequence in Paris, showing Nag on a date with local girl (cameo played by South African model Gabriella Demetriades), which blends with the narration seamlessly.
Tamannah looks chic and ravishing, but has limited scope for performance. Nevertheless, she pulls it off with ease. Prakash Raj is adorable and the scenes involving him and Karthi is laugh riot. Vivekh, Jayasudha, Anushka and Shriya (both in cameos) are all adequate.
Kudos to director Vamsi for not indulging in commercial trappings except for a clichéd item song! He has also not gone overboard with sentimental scenes. The dialogues by Raju Murugan and Murugesh Babu infuse you with a deep appreciation of humanity and highlight those high held values. The technical department plays a major role in making this film a pleasure to watch. Gopi Sundar’s background score goes well with the mood of the film, but songs seem to be average.
P.S.Vinod’s cinematography is top notch and of international standards, especially the vibrant Paris episode. Although Praveen’s editing is faultless, the movie is little lengthy and he could have trimmed certain portions.
Thozha has everything - an alluring story backed by extraordinary performances, sound technical departments and rich production values. A film not to be missed!