Bharathiraja is back. The fire in him still burns bright as he has come out with Bommalattam an edge-of-the-seat, intelligent and absorbing thriller. At a time when we are bombarded with mediocre stuff here is superior quality cinema. Perfect casting, superb packaging and brilliant performances by lead actors make it a must watch.

Armed with the film’s best written role as Rana, the maverick film director, Nana Patekar rocks and proves again why he is one of the best actors in Indian cinema.

Rana (Nana Patekar) is a brilliant director, who is eccentric and unpredictable. He is an award winning director who makes films which are aesthetic and has an appeal among the elite audiences. He is also a perfectionist and demands a lot from his cast and crew, though his personal life is in shambles as his nagging wife (Ranjita) is always suspicious about him.

While directing a film, Rana fires the heroine who is unprofessional. He replaces her with a new girl Trishna (Ragini), whom he discovers and finds that she is an excellent actress. But on the day when he is going to introduce her to the media before the release of the film, the car in which they were traveling fall off a cliff and explode. Rana escapes with minor injuries and Trishna dies.

The investigation is handed over to CBI led by a smart investigative officer Vivek Varma (Arjun). Vivek links two earlier murders that had happened on Rana’s sets to the accidental death of Trishna. He takes the maverick director for questioning. Vivek Varma has his own axe to grind against Rana, as his girl friend Anita (Kajal Agarwal), a fanatic fan of the director has joined him as his assistant.

The rest of the film is told in flashbacks. Is Rana behind the mysterious murders on his sets? Will Vivek be able to nab him with conclusive proof? All this unfolds in the last 30 minutes of the film as the suspense mounts, leading to a stunning and a riveting climax never seen before, which is spellbinding.

Go see the film for Nana Patekar, he lives the role of the troubled film director. He pours a lot of heartfelt emotions into the film’s more dramatic moment. The scene where director Rana acts out a romantic encounter between his wooden hero and his leading lady and his wife barging into the sets and throwing a fit and his stony silence is riveting. Nana is mesmerizing as you can feel the characters anguish and ruminations.

Arjun is icy cool and is perfect foil for Nana, and he pulls it off with his characteristic style. The new girl Ragini as Trishna is apt for the role and has come out with a very convincing performance and is the pivot around which the film revolves. Kajal Agarwal hardly has any role and is pure eye candy. Vivek’s comedy track tickles the funny bone and is superb, while Manivannan as the lecherous landlord is perfect.

Himmesh Reshammiya’s music is just ok, but the first duet could have been avoided. Two more songs are thrust into the narration which sticks out like a sore thumb. At the same time the film is exquisitely photographed and editing is crisp.

On the whole, hats off to Bharathiraja for creating a taut thriller which is a masterpiece of moods, anxieties and dread. Quite simply, unmissable.

Banner:    Therkathi Kalai Koodam
Cast:    Arjun, Nana Patekar, Kajal Agarwal
Direction:    Bharathirajaa
Music:    Himesh Reshammiya

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