Thambi movie review: Karthi, Jyothika starrer is a family drama with delicious twists

Updated on Dec 20, 2019 04:27 PM IST

Thambi movie review: Director Jeethu Joseph has a way of blending family and thriller in a seamless whole. Thambi, which stars Karthi and Jyothika, scores big on that account.

Thambi movie review: Jeethu Joseph directed film stars Karthi, Jyothika and Sathyaraj in lead roles.
Thambi movie review: Jeethu Joseph directed film stars Karthi, Jyothika and Sathyaraj in lead roles.
Hindustan Times | By

Jeethu Joseph’s Thambi, which stars Karthi and Jyothika in the lead, has so much in common with the filmmaker’s own Drishyam. Both these movies are cut from the same cloth and, pretty much, belong to the same world in terms of sentiment, emotion and suspense. Both these stories are centred on the search for a missing member of a family and the secrets that are unraveled in the process. Both these stories have characters that at some point in the film come across as suspects but end up surprising audiences. In spite of having so much in common, both Drishyam and Thambi stand out due to the way they’re executed.

Thambi is the story of a family that’s hoping for the return of their long-forgotten son. It’s been 15 years since Saravana (Karthi) left home and nobody knows even if he’s alive. But his sister Parvathi is still hopeful that her brother would come home someday, and so is the rest of the family. Some circumstances forces Saravana to flee town and he comes and takes refuge with this family as he introduces himself as their long-separated kin.

Watch the trailer of Thambi here:


While Saravana’s parents are convinced that their son is back and they welcome him wholeheartedly, his sister has her doubts and takes a lot of time to warm up to him. As Saravana slowly starts winning the trust of his family members, he learns about a secret the family has hidden for a long time and the events that follow forms the crux of the story.

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Jeethu Joseph has somehow mastered the art of making thrillers against a family backdrop. In spite of being so similar in story and presentation, both Drishyam and Thambi work beautifully as standalone films and don’t warrant a comparison. Unlike Drishyam which was considered slightly dark in its overall tone, Thambi is a light-hearted family drama with a rewarding twist in the end.

Thambi blends two genres - family drama and thriller - beautifully.
Thambi blends two genres - family drama and thriller - beautifully.

The film allows Karthi to slip into a character that has great scope for comedy and he nails the initial portion with terrific comic timing. But it’s in the portion leading to the climax that we see Karthi really get under the skin of his character and showcase his versatility.

Since her return to acting, Jyothika has had her share of good and bad films but she sets herself a new benchmark with her performance in Thambi. There’s also the ever reliable Sathyaraj as the father who gets to shine in an author-backed role which he nails effortlessly.

Thambi works because it has a good mix of drama, sentiment and suspense. It successfully deceives the audience with a laid-back first half with plenty of laugh-out-loud moments. However, it transforms into a thriller in the second half and the narration keeps one glued to the proceedings on screen, and the writing is laudable.

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