Sannasi & Sooravali belong to a group of people from Padithuraiin Thanjavur who make a living by practicing the folk art of “Karagattam”. While Sooravali is head over heels in love with Sannasi he doesn’t openly reciprocate her feelings but still loves her from within. However, when a young government employee approaches them with a proposal asking for Sooravali’s hand a chain of events are set in motion that has disastrous consequences
Running Time:
128 min
Release date:
14 January 2016
Directed by:
Produced by:
M. Sasikumar
Written by:
Varalaxmi Sarathkumar
Satish Kaushik
R. K. Suresh
Amudha Vaanan
GM Kumar
Kaavya Sha
Pragathi Guruprasad
Music by:
Shot by:
Editing by:
G. Sasikumar
Distributed by:
Ayngaran International Media

What’s Hot

  • Bala yet again mesmerizes with his choice of characters to bring life to the themes behind his latest work. A love story amidst the traditional folk art of “Karagattam” highlighting the commercialization of art is not an easy subject to translate to screen. But Bala makes it happen in his own unconventional ways such as awkward dialogues & gender-defying characterization
  • Perhaps Ilayaraja agreed to this film just for the character of Saamipulavar who is a classical musician unable to stomach the music that he worships being trivialized & commercialized. You cannot get more META than that. Raja enthralls with his masterful pulsating score & soul-stirring songs which are used appropriately in the narrative
  • 1-film old Varalakshmi known for her philanthropic activities & western theatrical performances is a revelation in TT. Given the license by Bala to be bold, crass & loud-mouthed she stuns with her modulation in both the comic as well as emotional sequences. That her no-holds-barred, inhibition-free enactment of the “Karagattam” dance makes the audience forget the clothes she is in & appreciate her dedication is a fantastic achievement in itself
  • Sasikumar is apt for the role of Sannasi. He brings out multiple emotions with conviction as his character traverses over varied segments such as talented folk artist, sacrificing 80s lover, disappointed son and so on. Of the many horrific villains Bala has introduced, RK Suresh will definitely stand out (along with Mottai’ Rajendran) for he is not just all brawn but also a lot of brain. His posture, the way he smokes weed, satirical dialogue modulation & ultra-violent streak add multiple shades to his character
  • The supporting characters Anthony Daasan & Amudhavanan add a lot of value to the proceedings. While Amudhavanan’s brother-sister arc is presented wonderfully still proving to be ultra-realistic, Anthony Daasan makes you believe he belongs to an actual troupe & convinces as one of the sanest around the bunch. The choice of Gayathri Raguram too is well made given that she looks & dances so much like Varalakshmi
  • The camera work by Chezhian is marvelous especially given the fact that he chooses angles that do not project the folk artists’ dance in a vulgar fashion. However the cleverly used cuts of the watching audience by Sasikumar show how vulgarity lies in the eyes of the onlookers

What’s Not

  • While it is appreciable that Bala brings to the silver screen the trials & tribulations of the downtrodden & the unknown groups, he does so in a template that is predicable in his filmography. Of course, one has to accept that this film bears no similarity whatsoever with his previous masterpiece, Paradesi. This criticism is not to downplay the work behind creating/identifying such characters but the fact that the general public are able to bracket them into a typical Bala narrative is something we hope he corrects
  • The violence in Bala’s films seem to be on a never-ending exponential curve as he travels on his film-making journey. And this aspect of his films drives away so many from wanting to watch them. While it is incorrect to call this entirely “unwanted” to his scripts, it is a fervent hope that he cuts down on them as much as possible. Also, logical loopholes are pretty rarely seen in Bala’s films. But the short time in which Sannasi is able to locate Sooravali and one Sooravali dance resulting in tickets for the entire crew make a mockery of this




Verdict Stamp

Thara Thappatai is a typical Bala-template film that delights in its ability to bring out the life of our traditional folk artists & a commentary on the commercialization of art, but it is undeniable that the film disappoints while transforming into a highly violent and disturbing encounter towards the end