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Thoonganagaram Movie review
Thoonganagaram (the city that never sleeps) brings the Madurai milieu back on screen. But unlike the regular run-of-the-mill commercial masala movies that portray the city as violent and gory, Thoonganagaram is a full-length comedy film based on friendship. The story is about four guys, their experiences, the people they meet and the problems that arise. The movie has Vimal, Bharani, Nishanth and debutant director Gaurav himself playing the lead characters.
Thoonganagaram has a very simple plot revolving around four youngsters from different nearby towns who bond over drinks at a local bar. Kannan (Vimal) is a small time videographer, Rajamani (director Gaurav) disposes bodies at an electric crematorium, Ayyavu (Bharani) is an electrician and Mariyappan (Nishant), a mute, works in a shop. Life proceeds in ordinary fashion for these four friends until Kannan meets Radha aka Kalaivani (Anjali), an anchor with the local TV station. The story takes an interesting turn when a priest approaches Kannan for help. Why? The son of a local bigwig blackmails his daughter with her photos taken surreptitiously in the trial room of a textile showroom. The rest of the story is all about friendship and betrayal.
All credit goes to debut director Gaurav for portraying Madurai in a different way. The situational comedy and realistic feel of the film will keep you grounded. There are also some edge-of-the seat moments shot in a thrilling way. Thoonganagaram is Vimal's third film and he stands out. But in certain scenes, Kannan seems more like an extension of his earlier roles. As always, Anjali is natural and Bharani seems to be the perfect choice to play the role of Ayyavu. Director Gaurav and Nishant have done their parts well too. Madhumitha makes a brief single song appearance.
Santhanam's authentic art work and Vijay Ulaganathan's camerawork need special mention. Music by Sundar C. Babu could have been better. The humour is part of the story and audiences from Madurai and its surrounding areas will surely relate to the dialect and style.
This film's USP is friendship and debut director's Thoonganagaram is a sincere attempt.