The first thing that piqued my attention about the movie Tamaar Padaar was its name itself, I mean, how many movies have such catchy names. And the trailer that was shared on Facebook around a month or so ago more than kindled my interest in it. With Baburaj, Chemban Vinod and Prithviraj (who was yet again playing a cop role, but this time with a Thiruvananthapuram accent) showcasing interesting snippets of their characters in the trailer, it was just the question of the movie hitting theater screens for me. There was absolutely no question as to whether I would enjoy it or not.
And the final verdict, yes, the movie is eminently watchable and quite enjoyable as well. Was it mind-blowing, amazing fun, no, but was it watchable and enjoyable, yes.
The first half of the movie chronicles the lives of Jumper Mani (Baburaj) and Tubelight Vasu (Chemban Vinod), two street performers, who although lead separate lives in separate cities, but lead similar lives in that both of them are struggling to make ends meet, love their professions and have more than a reasonable affiliation to their art and to alcohol as well. As fate would have it, they first see each other albeit in quite unnatural ‘avatars’ and immediately develop a liking to each other. Subsequent meetings over drinks result in a situation where they end up entwined into each other, quite literally.
The second half begins well with narrating the birth and early days of ACP Pouran (Prithviraj) in the police department and how he is all eager to make a mark in his first posting with the Intelligence Department. He spots a conspiracy when Mani and Vasu are in the middle of a circus trick bang opposite the Secretariat and this sets in motion the nucleus of the movie, the case of mistaken identity.
What the movie suffers from is the fact that the director chose the linear narrative and tells us the stories of the three protagonists one by one, and this means that while the first third of the movie is all about Baburaj, the second one is all Chemban Vinod and so on. This ends up in too much of a gap between how the first third ends and how the final portion begins. The director would have been better off with parallel narrations of all three stories and could have used some simple techniques to stitch them all together.
What worked well for me in the movie was how a simple case of mistaken identity was used by the director to highlight more than quite a few things that is wrong with how the police department functions, the politician-policeman nexus, and some other things as well. And the use of satire and over-the-top characters as a medium was a masterstroke of debut director Dileesh Nair.
And words cannot do justice to how well Prithviraj has portrayed the role of ACP Pouran. While he uses the Thiruvananthapuram slang, he ensures that nobody is reminded of Rajamanickam, the movie which made this slang and Suraj Venjaramoodu household names across Kerala. Despite the fact that this probably is the fifteenth or twentieth time that Prithviraj has played a cop on screen, there are absolutely no remnants or reminders of any of his earlier avatars as a cop from Kerala Police. He pretty much carries the entire second half of the movie on his shoulders and does a good job of it.
In a nutshell, this movie is surely worth a one time watch, if not for anything, at least to have a good laugh and enjoy Prithviraj in this relatively unusual portrayal of a cop by him.