Cast: Tovino Thomas, Suraj Venjaramoodu, Samyuktha Menon, Saiju Kurup Surabhi Lakshmi
Director: Fellini T. P
Malayalam’s current most bankable actor Tovino Thomas is back with his latest flick, this time it is Theevandi. The title and the way it is shown in posters imply what the movie is about, a guy who inhales smoke more than fresh air. Tovino’s character Bineesh is a typical cigarette addict. Even his birth was weird, thanks to a puff of smoke, making him the second man ever to taste tobacco before breast milk, after Pablo Picasso, as they say in the film.
The movie is thoroughly engaging, has enjoyed much hype after its poster and the first song were out. It neatly portrays the birth of a smoker, how it turns to addiction, regrets and how horrible the withdrawal symptoms are. To be honest, there are scenes in debutant Fellini T.P’s film that are alluring enough to make you wonder and at the same time, it has cliché moments too. But sometimes clichés happen because they deal with real-life incidents and portray the bad side of one’s habit.
Bineesh points out the ungodly pleasure of why people engage in such pointed self-destructive addiction, since the day he starts smoking with his buddies. While others could stop it or control it, he continues to do so and earns the title Theevandi. Probably Malayalis won’t mistake the title for its actual meaning the locomotive. The film goes on to show smoking in each and every scene but it does not glamorise the addiction. The background score and the feel that comes each time he smokes are terrifying too.
When Bineesh puffs on, he does so with glee. And the resultant ‘satisfaction’ is far better than anything he’s ever experienced in regular life better, he says, than his girlfriend’s kiss and he hesitates to kiss her when she says he smells bad. Towards the end, when it shows his withdrawal symptoms, Tovino’s acting skills are flawless and worth a lot of credit. Those who have seen the cult classic Trainspotting can see the director might have been inspired by it.
The supporting cast including Suraj Venjaramoodu, Samyuktha Menon, Saiju Kurupp Surabhi Lakshmi and others, have done justice to their roles. Overall, the film is worth watching for Tovino’s acting, a great directorial debut and the well-written Theevandi title song.