- BOTTOM LINE: A Silly Series About a Tainted Scientist
|Platform ZEE5||Genre Drama|
What Is the Story About?
Thiravam is a fictionalized take on the life of the once-popular yet tainted scientist Ramar Pillai, whose invention of herbal fuel as an alternative source of energy hit headlines all over the country in the 90s. The series prefers to play safe by taking a different name to its lead protagonist, now named Ravi Prakash (RP). The story is a conspiracy theory about how oil companies, politicians, scientists were all behind RP to reap rich dividends from his formula to make herbal fuel. Do they succeed or not? What will RP lose out in the process? Thiravam chronicles the rise and the fall of an intriguing public personality.
Prasanna makes his digital debut with Thiravam and it is safe to say that role as the scientist in the series is among his worst written parts to date. The seasoned actor struggles to make sense of his role. Neither does he look right for the part nor does his acting work. Indhuja gets an ambiguous role as a deceptive lawyer, but she comes up with one of the better performances or in fact, the best one in this series.
Cinematographer Arvind Krishna helms this series, that turns out to be a massive disappointment, both in terms of writing and execution. Especially because of the potential that the story of Ramar Pillai holds, be it his interest in science, nature or what prompted him to make herbal fuel as an alternative to petrol in the first place. The makers instead, choose to make a shoddy gangster series revolving around the scientist. There are sidekicks, slapstick humor, politicians, gangsters chasing the protagonist for a fuel formula but ironically they should have also cracked the formula for a strong script for Thiravam.
The director switches his tone towards an emotional drama in the middle of the series and fails at it too. The father-daughter relationship is bereft of any originality and it seems to be an effort to increase the running time of the series to 4 hours (but why?).
There’s an underplayed romance angle in RP’s life. There is a flashback about his wife who’s no more. There is also a character that merely mimics Narendra Modi. The gangster segments in the series are all about high decibel-warnings minus any chills. There’s no purpose behind any of the above aspects, just like there’s no graph for any character and every element in the series appears forced. Just about nothing falls in place.
The lack of homework from the makers clearly shows. How can a storyteller forget about science in a story about a scientist? It’s as if the protagonist is squeezing a few leaves into water and mixing it with chemicals to make a fuel. Wow, wish it was that easy! Most of the sequences set amid the underworld backdrop are inspired from feature films. Zero authenticity and how do you expect a viewer to be enamored by the story/storytelling? Thiravam’s ending is as ambiguous and destroys the entire purpose of watching the series. The world is progressing they say with solar, wind and hydro energy, but the oil giants are chasing a herbal fuel in the series. Why would they do that? (Try) Watch Thiravam to find out more.
Kaali Venkat, Swayamsiddha get only brief parts where they hardly have a scope to shine. A surprise element in the series is the presence of Nagendra Prasad, brother of actor Prabhudeva, in a negative role. In the role of a shrewd scientist desperate to outsmart the lead protagonist, he comes up with a decent performance.
Music and Other Departments?
Probably to give a commercial coating to the series, there’s a forced song about father-daughter and family bonding, which leaves you wondering if you have slipped into the 70s or 80s era of films. Cinematography is the pillar/the only shining light of the series, precisely because it nearly makes the shoddy content look believable and grand on the screen. The series could have reduced its running time to two hours and there would have been no difference to its outcome, such is the proficiency on the editing table.
Courtroom sequence in the initial episode
Briefly engaging slapstick humor involving the politicians
Prasanna’s weak performance
Too many distracting sub-plots
Will You Recommend It?
Thiravam Review by Srivathsan N
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