Dhayanidhi Azhagiri’s Cloud Nine Movies which has been distributing films until now have turned producer with Thoonganagaram. Director Gaurav, a former assistant to veteran K.S.Ravikumar has made his directorial debut with this film and also plays an important role. The film stars talented performers like Vimal (Kalavani fame), Bharani (Nadodigal fame), Nishanth (Renigunta fame), Anjali (Angadi Theru fame) who have proved their mettle. With the popular brand of the producer and a young cast, Thoonganagaram aroused everyone’s curiosity and expectations.
As the title suggests, the film is set in Madurai. This film too has the basic premise of friendship like some of its predecessors. Kanna (Vimal), Aiyavu (Bharani), Maari (Nishanth) and Rajamani (Gaurav) are youngsters who get acquainted one night at the bar, become drinking buddies and before we know, they are swearing their lives for each other. Kanna finds love in his childhood sweetheart Kalaivani (played by Anjali) who is a local TV artist. Trouble begins when Kanna locks horns with two miscreants who are up to some very despicable things. What starts off as a scuffle, develops into a major issue with more people and power getting involved. How does the foursome face up to this?
The movie has a plot which can claim novelty but it is a bit tiresome to see yet another film based on Madurai and four friends who are thick as thieves. Despite being set in Madurai, the film steers clear of excessive violence and is a mix of comedy, romance and action. Gaurav proves himself a good director by bringing out decent performances
from the lead cast as well as the supporting cast which largely consists of the local people.
Coming to the performances, Vimal, Bharani, Gaurav and Anjali have done well and are apt for their roles. Nishanth, who has played the role of the speech-impaired Maari manages to convey his emotions perfectly just with his eyes and facial expressions. Though characters reminds us of those in Nadodigal and other Madurai films, the cast of Thoonganagaram has brought about freshness through their portrayal.
What plays spoilsport in this potential entertainer is the addition of excessive sub plots and songs. The first half has about three songs and the main plot unravels only in the second half. There is a flashback of Kanna and Kalaivani’s childhood which is totally unnecessary and hinders the flow of the already slow paced film.
Cinematography by Vijay Ulaganathan is good and brings out the essence of Madurai. There is a particular long shot of a mountain captured in the mild showers of the night, which showcases the cinematographer’s talent. Music by Sundar.C.Babu is good but does not linger on with the exception of the song Kalyanam Kalyanam which is very peppy.
On the whole, this film is engaging in certain parts and has good performances from all the actors. The film would have been crisper and better if the focus was more on the main plot.
Verdict: Another tale of Madurai attempting to be different.