With a name like Sapthamashree Thaskaraha: [Wikipedia link] which according to informed sources literally means The Seven Thieves and an ensemble cast headed by Prithviraj Sukumaran including Asif Ali, Nedumudi Venu and some other underappreciated talents of Malayalam cinema, it was but natural that I was eagerly waiting for this movie to hit theater screens in Bangalore. And the fact that it was produced by Prithviraj and Santosh Sivan whose last productive collaboration, Urumi was something that I immensely enjoyed, made this movie all the more interesting. And as if these reasons weren’t enough, the director Anil Radhakrishnan Menon was making this movie immediately after his stellar debut outing with North 24 Kaatham which I immensely enjoyed meant that I would give a hand and a leg to watch this movie almost immediately after its release. And trust me when I say this, this movie lived up to all my expectations from it and more.
The movie narrates the tale of seven strangers who are holed up in one cell in Viyoor jail for various petty crimes they have committed and during the course of their jail stints realize that at least a couple of them have a bone to pick against Pious Mathew (played by Joy Mathew) and his cohorts who are responsible for the situation they find themselves in. And when Nobilettan (portrayed wonderfully well by Nedumudi Venu) suggests that he actually might have a plan which involves more than a fair sum of money, this immediately sets the heist (which is the crux of the movie) in motion.
The team itself is a rag-tag ensemble of characters with one pick pocket, one magician, one teacher, one electrical whiz kid, one madman, one rough character who won’t mind getting his hands dirty in a good fight and one ex-businessman who lost everything he had due to the cunning machinations of the villain. Now, with an extremely diverse set of skills and motivations, this group gets out of jail and starts planning the heist, the only problem being, at this point it is purely based on hearsay and there is no proper verified information regarding the ‘treasure’ they are aiming for.
Whether they plan things out properly, whether they manage to extract revenge for Nobilettan and Krishnanunni (Prithivraj) for what Pious and his cohorts did to them forms the rest of the movie. Suffice to say that there is not one dull moment in this movie and not one frame is wasted on unnecessary fluff in the entire running time. The director and editor have done an awesome job of ensuring that the audience is kept glued to its seats throughout the movie without one wasted frame or scene.
What really worked well for me was the fact that the director chose the pick pocket using a confessional with a priest at a church as the narrative medium in which the entire story is told to the audience. While this provided him with the option of looking at things from a third party perspective, this also allowed him to insert some wonderful humor in the narration itself which really added to the charm of the entire movie.
Also, the overall background music which used a lot of oft heard western themes from old spaghetti western movies from Hollywood gave this movie and its action a lovely feel. The feeling of always being in motion, things always being on the edge, in pursuit mode, these were easily brought out using the BGM score.
And then, the fact that this is the third recent movie which employed the Thrissur slang (after Pranchiyettan and the Saint, and Punyalan Agarbathis) for which I have a special affinity to (given that it is the slang with which my wife and in-laws speak Malayalam) meant that this movie and its dialogs will remain with me for more than quite a while.Having said that, even if the movie didn’t employ the Thrissur slang and used conventional spoken urban Malayalam, it would still remain the fun roller-coaster ride it already is.