Thoota Movie Review : A competently shot but less than compelling film

Thoota Story: A college student is in a relationship with an actress but has to let her go due to her gangster guardian. What happens when she comes back into his life with news of his estranged brother?

Thoota Review: The initial promos of Thoota feel nostalgic due to their similarity to Gautham Vasudev Menon’s Sahasam Swasaga Sagipo (SSS). After you watch the film, the feeling doesn’t go away, especially due to the same trope of having a daring young man and a damsel in distress.

The daring youngster here is Raghu (Dhanush, who nails his role), from an affluent family in Rajahmundry studying in a nearby city. When Raghu sees Lekha (Megha Akash, pretty but feeble), an actress shooting at his college, it is love at first sight. She is a debutant under the control of Kumar (Senthil Veeraswamy), someone who has connections with gangsters. Even as Raghu tries his best to shield Lekha from him, she chooses to go with Kumar due to circumstances. Four years later, she walks back into his life with news of his estranged brother Guru (Sasikumar), who’s in trouble. Raghu is now pushed into a violent world filled with dirty cops and gangsters. Can he dodge the bullets and save his girl while at it?

SSS had a gripping narrative that unfolded alongside a beautiful love story. But Gautham fails to make the action episodes in this one as gripping as the love story. Both ends of the story having a solid connection, with the director intercutting between the rose-tinted world of romance and the blood-splattered crime world, and it all begins with Raghu at the receiving end of the titular thoota (bullet).

Anyone who has watched Gautham’s previous films is used to the voice-over narratives by now. He uses the same here to convey his protagonist’s thoughts, like a novel. This works particularly well during the action scenes, but feels indulgent and merely expository in few other scenes. Romance has always been Gautham’s strong point and here too, these portions work.

It is refreshing to see the film celebrate a good guy, the one time he loses his cool and speaks crassly; we get a voice-over about him regretting his outburst. But we never engage much with the romance. Though the songs aren’t as well pictured as his previous films, Darbuka Siva’s music is a delight. What adds more beauty to the film are the wonderfully framed scenes with low key lighting by Jomon T John.

The action portions are routine, but we get a superbly shot fight scene inside a lift. The Telugu version of the film has a few scenes from the Tamil original chopped off and the change is noticeable and jarring. In the end, what we’re left with is a competently shot but less than compelling film. If you’re an ardent lover of Gautham Menon’s love stories, give Thoota a try.

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