Director Dhamayanthi, well-known for her literary pursuits, recently took one of her successful short stories to the big screen - the result of which is Thadayam, starring Kani Kusruti and Ganapathy Murugesan.
The hour-long adaptation of her short story by the same name, however, does not create the same magic that her words did.
Acclaimed actor Kani Kusruti who was recently seen in the short film Maa, plays Jenny, a middle-aged woman who’s terminally ill. Actor Ganapathy Murugesan plays Deva, her long-lost lover. The story is about the two, who went their separate ways and are meeting after a very long time. While the story itself is relatively new to Tamil cinema, one cannot help but feel that it has been poorly translated to the screen.
Jenny and Deva revisit their love decades later and the story unfurls in the conversations that they have. While one is in a happy marriage, the other is divorced and on her deathbed. Although Jenny, who’s in the twilight of her life, repents not marrying Deva, she does not apologise for her choice. Her lines, “My love cannot make you lie. My love will not burden you in any way,” “Is it marriage only if you live together,” reveal the strength of her character.
The unwarranted duet seems like a deliberate attempt to break the monotony of a static-location film. Evident lapses in filmmaking, like Jenny who’s supposed to be paralysed from waist below moving and shaking her legs, and the super-slow driving of the car in the rain, are major letdowns.
The sound effects in the film could have been better. For instance, Jenny's hoarse voice in the dubbing gets a bit too disturbing and the abrupt fade-outs in music are a sore point. Justin Khenaniah's score, however, is mildly refreshing. While most of the dialogues have been retained from the short story, a few have been changed for the film.
Thadayam touches upon the idea of marriage, of the concept that binds people together and the minimal space given for a woman’s choice. It may have been refreshing for a short story but fails to leave a mark as a film.
Disclaimer: This review was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the film. Neither TNM nor any of its reviewers have any sort of business relationship with the film's producers or any other members of its cast and crew.