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Review by : Behindwoods Review Board

Starring: Vikram, Jagapathi Babu, Anushka, Amy Jackson, Santhanam
Direction: A.L.Vijay
Music: G.V. Prakash Kumar
Production: UTV Motion Pictures
Cinematography: Nirav Shah
Editing: Anthony
Art Direction : Nagu

Thaandavam brings back director A L Vijay and Vikram together again after Deiva Thirumagal. Thaandavam is touted to be the first ever film in the world made on echolocation with Daniel Kish, an expert in the subject, as inspiration who also makes a cameo appearance in the film. 

But for the echolocation as the new ingredient, the story of this AL Vijay directed Thaandavam is just another revenge saga with the usual ‘must have’s of a commercial entertainer.

Whatever project Vikram is in, the National Award winner is known for sincerity and dedication towards his work and he once again proves that in Thaandavam. It is interesting to note that he does not have many dialogues to mouth and he expresses mostly through his powerful eyes and effective body language. 

Anushka is ravishing and the onscreen chemistry between her and Vikram is the major highlight of Thaandavam despite it not following the syntax of a regular film. Their romance is very beautiful, restrained and mature which lends a refreshing feel. The order of marriage first, friends next followed by love is appealing and the first night sequence where Anushka opens her heart out is done quite well. Another interesting scene is when she comes to know about Vikram’s actual official designation at a party.

Jagapathy Babu is the smart RAW officer who crafts a neat performance. Amy Jackson appears as a baby doll with pretty costumes (her being a winner of Miss London in the film helps) but her role is ephemeral.  Nasser as the Srilankan Tamil speaking police officer brings to fore the character of an astute investigation officer. Santhanam is under-utilized and so is Lakshmi Rai. There is a big army of supporting cast in the form of Thambi Ramiah, M S Bhaskar, Balaji and Saranya Ponvannan whose roles appear like cameos.

Pace is very lethargic and dreary in Thaandavam which brings down the engrossing quotient south. There are moments when you sense the film is drifting away from its fulcrum and is digressing. The main reason mentioned for a character turning antagonist is flimsy and does not have a strong back-up. For a film whose premise is espionage, the sequences are quite predictable lacking in fizz and spunk and are watered down.

A L Vijay prefers to work with his regulars as regards the technical team and has not made an exception in Thaandavam too. Nirav Shah’s camera travels unobtrusively with the moods of the story and he delivers with aesthetic frames and lighting.

G V Prakash scores in ‘Oru Paadhi Kadhavu’, while other numbers are just average. When the going is serious, ‘Uyirin Uyire’ turns out a misplaced ditty although the picturization is impressive. Action scenes are well made and the one where Vikram bares his body although for a brief duration warrants mention and the blows and punches are quite believable throughout.

Toting up, Thaandavam is slick in terms of camera work, locations, a novel idea (echolocation), costumes and performance but is let down by slow narration, weak engrossing quotient, doddering screen play and a flimsy plot.

Verdict: Good performance, slow narration and mildly engaging

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