HomeMovie ReviewsThuramukham Review; A bold and brilliant portrayal of communism

Thuramukham Review; A bold and brilliant portrayal of communism

thuramukham review

Review of Malayalam movie Thuramukham, starring Nivin Pauly, Poornima Indrajith, Arjun Ashokan, and Joju George in lead roles. Directed by Rajeev Ravi.REVIEW BY ARUNJYOTHI R

•Language: Malayalam   

•Duration: 02 Hours 54 Minutes. 

•Genre: Historical Drama. 


1: Direction 

2: Story, Screenplay and Dialogues 

3: Performances of actors. 

4: Cinematography 

5: Editing 

6: Action Sequences.

7: Art Direction


1: Background Score. 

2: Average songs.  

3: Slow-paced narration. 

4: The duration of the film. 

ONE WORD: A bold and brilliant portrayal of communism. 


The plot of Thuramukham deals with the ‘Chappa’ system which happened during the 40s and 50s in the seaport of Kochi. It is a kind of federal practice performed by the port authorities, ‘Mooppans’ and rich landlords. The chopper coins will be thrown at workers and the ones who got the coins will get the chance to work and in the end, they will be only paid less. Eventually, the labourers will be joined together and will build a trade union to fight against this tedious system. 


Thuramukham is directed by Rajeev Ravi and written by Gopan Chidambaran. The movie is produced by 

Sukumar Thekkepat, Jose Thomas and Listin Stephen under the production companies of Thekkepat Films, Collective Phase One and Queen Mary Movies. The movie is distributed by Magic Frames and with U/A censor certification the movie is currently running in theatres. 

The direction of Rajeev Ravi always follows a unique method of realistic filmmaking and in ‘Thuramukham’ also Rajeev Ravi follows the same procedure. And I would say I enjoyed the film but it won’t be everyone’s cup of tea because the movie pursues a slow-paced making in an actual realistic manner. The commercial entertaining factors are less in ‘Thuramukham’, the movie strongly focuses on the real incident of the ‘Chappa’ system and ‘Mattancherry’ firing accident which happened in the land of Kerala during the 40s and the 50s. I watched the film along with my friends and the dramatic style of this film was not holding and grabbing some of their attention. So like I said, for those who are fond of Rajeev Ravi’s movies I am sure ‘Thuramukham’ will be a cinematic treat. 

The politics which the film discussed were presented authentically by both the writer and director. The entire story and screenplay were strongly and carefully written and the execution by Rajeev Ravi had done total justice for the script. There are several characters in the film and each of the characters was written with actual depth. The characters played by Poornima Indrajith, Nivin Pauly, Arjun Ashokan, Sudev Nair, Joju Geroge and Nimisha Sajayan were excellently written out. The impact which these characters create on the screen was enormous because their written characters were perfectly matching the real-life incident of the ‘Chappa’ system. So the writer Gopan Chidambaran brought some attention-grabbing fictional characters and he carefully blended these characters into the real-life scenarios of the ‘Chappa’ system. And the writer had also made the correct route to match these characters with the real-life incident of police fire shootout that happened in Mattancherry. So the story was strong enough to lift the movie and also the well-balanced screenplay with the direction of Rajeev Ravi had given a pleasant cinematic experience. 

The screenplay was also amazing, the happening and the occurrences in the film are plenty and every scene was written out rightly without getting off balance. The movie starts with the scenes of Jojo Geroge and it was presented in a black-and-white style. I really liked that back-and-white tone, it indicated the old period and had given an extra appeal to the theatre experience. The beginning portions of the film with Jojo Geroge were powerful and they had made a strong influence on my watching. So after the introduction, I got the actual idea about how this movie is going to be and what it will be trying to convey. The initial impression grabbed my attention and after the appearance of Nivin Pauly, Poornima Indrajith (as an old mother), Arjun Ashokan, Nimisha Sajayan and Sudev Nair the movie started to get more interesting. The family sentiments, rivalries of rich people and labourers, political principles of communism, and the fight for justice were crammed into the screenplay. And each of these factors was beautifully directed by Rajeev Ravi and I was excited to know the ultimate climax. 

Poornima Indrajith as the mother did a terrific performance, among the actors her performance was the best. Her natural acting and sharp dialogue delivery in a natural manner was brilliant. Nivin Pauly as Moidu did great acting in the film, his expressions and ruthless attitude had given a big impact on the film. His combination scenes with Arjun Ashokan, Nimisha Sajayan, Sudev Nair and Poornima Indrajith come out flawlessly. The negative shade in the character of Nivin Pauly was surprising and he handled it perfectly. Arjun Ashokan had a major screen pace and his emotional scenes exhibited his acting skills. Sudev Nair did the villain role and throughout the film, he contrived the shadiness of a rich and cunning villain. Nimisha Sajayan as Umani also did complete justice to her character, the looks and the natural acting were seen in the whole performance. Joju Geroge appeared at the beginning of the film and his dominating performance helped the film to get a good interesting start. Indrajith Sukumaran had also done a good job, his acting and action sequences were praiseworthy. So overall the film Thuramukham is enriched with the intelligent acting of every actor. 

The technical side of the film was also good, especially the cinematography by the director Rajeev Ravi. There are various beautiful frames in this film, the periodical times of the 40s and 50s can be seen in the film like the real ones. The artwork department had done an outstanding job to bring the old times of the 90s. So the cinematography by Rajeev Ravi rightly matched to set the premise of the film and he brought accurate shots and frames. The stunt scene was captured amazingly, and all the action sequences looked fabulous to set a small thrilling mood. In the film, we will be able to see lots of close-up frames, the natural acting was seen in those close-up shots. The dark shots and indoor sequences are made fabulously without any errors with accurate lighting methods. The atmosphere of this film is unique, the struggle of labourers and their living conditions had made a big impact to set the mood. I was hooked by those visuals and till the end, Rajeev Ravi maintained the same flow in his camera work. The climax shootout scene was awesome and the visuals will make our eyes and mind disturb, it’s raw and realistic. The editing by B. Ajithkumar was also fine but the long duration of nearly three hours created some lag. I wish he could have trimmed some scenes for smooth engaging watching. The colour-grading needs to be specially mentioned because it had given an extra feel and was pleasing for the eyes. 

The musical works in the film were not that great for my viewing, I didn’t like the background score. In many scenes, I wish the film had some good tunes to make the scenes more engaging. The lack of a good background score was felt in my sense and I think if the film had some catchy background scores it could have helped to reduce the lag for common viewers. The song ‘Karakkenne Thanichakkeettu’ was good but it reminded me of the tunes of some folk-type song. As I mentioned above, the movie has a slow-paced narration so I doubt whether the movie will be engaging for the common viewers. The story takes its time to establish the main events so the chances of getting a lag are plenty. Also, the duration is nearly three hours so if normal viewers are getting bored no one can blame anyone. 


So to conclude, personally I loved ‘Thuramukham’, the film is raw and realistic and I will recommend this film to those who only love to watch intense political dramas. The movie brilliantly exhibits the struggles of poor labourers, and the ‘Chappa’ system which was held in Kerala during the ’90s is shown through ‘‘Thuramukham’ flawlessly. The direction of Rajeev Ravi and the script of Gopan Chidambaran deserves big applause and the performance of the actors in the film are a treat to watch. The real communist ideologies and the true face of the Mattancherry shootout are fearlessly shown in ‘Thuramukham’ and it is something which should be watched. Therefore, ‘Thuramukham’ is one of the best movies I have watched this year and I’m sure the efforts behind this well-crafted film will get real desired acknowledgements. 

  • VERDICT:  An intense political flick with brilliant making. 
  • RATING: 4/5
  • A Review by ARUNJYOTHI. R
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