Trishanku Movie Review (2023)

Achyuth Vinayak

Achyut Vinayak’s ‘Thrishanku’, with Anna Ben and Arjun Ashokan, has a super premise, but it’s content to remain a pleasant watch instead of the all-out riot it could have become

Trishanku Movie Review

Trishanku Movie Cast & Crew

Production : Clock Tower Pictures & Co,Lacuna Pictures,Matchbox Shots
Director : Achyuth Vinayak
Music Director : Jay Unnithan

In her first film, Kumbalangi Nights, Anna Ben was stuck with a psychotic brother-in-law. Since then, she has been thrown into a freezer in Helen. She has been almost cheated on in Kappela. She has had to deal with an unwanted pregnancy in Sara's. She has fought fake journalism in Naradan. She was a murder suspect in Night Drive. And in Kaapa, her name was listed in the Kerala Anti-Social Activities Prevention Act. After all this cinematic trauma, you can only imagine the tears of joy that coursed down Anna Ben's face when Achyut Vinayak approached her to act in Thrishanku, where she just has to be a part of some silly scenarios. She plays Megha, a Christian in love with Sethu (Arjun Ashokan). And despite a shadow of cinematic trauma in the form of an overbearing father who thinks he knows what's best for his daughter, Megha's story arc places her mostly in Priyadarshan-esque situations. 

Achyut was an assistant of the legendary director whose comedies are a genre of their own, and he has a superb one-line: What if Megha and Sethu decide to elope and… I won't reveal the rest, but for about a half-hour, I was in comedy heaven. The story is filled with oddball characters like a grandfather complaining about his medicines, or a man who narrates a hilarious anecdote about the size of his gold chain. Later, we get a most sweet-natured gay joke. Jay Unnithan’s music is wonderfully eccentric – it's another "character". And yet, there are no duets. This makes the scene where Megha and Sethu secretly hold hands all the more romantic. Their whole romance has played out in secret, and a wide-open duet would have killed the atmosphere. This small touch feels just right.  

But slowly, the laughs begin to disappear. The situations are great. A man is locked in a toilet. Another man waits for the girl he loves without realising he is sitting in front of her disapproving father. Two traditional older men find themselves in a nightclub filled with twentysomethings. And so forth. But these situations are not pushed enough. They are not milked enough for jokes. The eccentric characters needed more eccentricity in the way they are shaped. After a point, the writing becomes super-convenient – like in the stretch involving a bunch of men doing the tiger dance for Dussehra. All hell should break loose, but the chaos doesn't spill out as it should – it's too contained, too controlled. Thrishanku is a pleasant-enough watch, but it leaves you with the feeling of what it could have been. When Priyadarshan himself has stopped making "Priyadarshan movies", we could have certainly used a better homage to his work. 


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Baradwaj Rangan

National Award-winning film critic Baradwaj Rangan, former deputy editor of The Hindu and senior editor of Film Companion, has carved a niche for himself over the years as a powerful voice in cinema, especially the Tamil film industry, with his reviews of films. While he was pursuing his chemical engineering degree, he was fascinated with the writing and analysis of world cinema by American critics. Baradwaj completed his Master’s degree in Advertising and Public Relations through scholarship. His first review was for the Hindi film Dum, published on January 30, 2003, in the Madras Plus supplement of The Economic Times. He then started critiquing Tamil films in 2014 and did a review on the film Subramaniapuram, while also debuting as a writer in the unreleased rom-com Kadhal 2 Kalyanam. Furthermore, Baradwaj has authored two books - Conversations with Mani Ratnam, 2012, and A Journey Through Indian Cinema, 2014. In 2017, he joined Film Companion South and continued to show his prowess in critiquing for the next five years garnering a wide viewership and a fan following of his own before announcing to be a part of Galatta Media in March 2022.