At a time when every movie industry is obsessed with making pan-Indian films, Mithran Jawahar’s Thiruchitrambalam, a slice-of-life drama, comes as a breath of fresh air. It’s a simple film with its heart at the right place. This Dhanush-starrer is a very familiar tale, but one that works like a charm and leaves you grinning as you walk out of the theatre. It’s the simplistic storytelling along with the highly-relatable characters that makes the film endearing and wholesome. Read more: Dhanush serves a fresh comedy as delivery boy out to find love in Thiruchitrambalam trailer

Dhanush plays Thiruchitrambalam aka Thiru, who works as a food delivery boy with no ambitions. His life revolves around his grandfather (Bharathiraja) and his childhood friend-cum-neighbour Shobana (Nithya Menen). He has a strained relationship with his father (Prakash Raj), who works as a police officer. As Thiru navigates through life trying to find love and purpose, he goes on a journey of self-realisation as he mends his bond with his father.

Sometimes even the most familiar stories can weave magic if presented well, and Thiruchitrambalam is the perfect example of that. The film, which lets Dhanush shed his hero image, works effectively both as slice-of-life family drama as well as a romantic-comedy.

For most of part of its running time, Thiruchitrambalam treads on thin ice as it could’ve easily become over dramatic, especially with a lot of drama in the second half. Thankfully, the simplistic writing and the regular use of highly enjoyable humour – courtesy Bharathiraja’s inimitable wit and one-liners - never lets a single moment get boring. The comedy is clean and situational, which works very well in the context of the story. Even the casting plays a crucial role in making the characters so relatable and enjoyable.

Nithya Menen, for instance, plays Dhanush’s bestie, and it’s the kind of relationship that’s been rarely explored before in Tamil cinema. Mainstream Tamil heroes are usually seen having male best friends. It was also refreshing to see a family full of men looking after each other and not relying on women to come fix their issues.

Dhanush returns to playing a role that he has championed over the years. You make him play similar characters another 100 times and he would still make it enjoyable every single time. That’s how effortlessly good he gets at playing these kinds of characters. Nithya Menen has always shied away from playing the quintessential heroine and it has always worked in her favour, going by the kind of characters she manages to land. She’s phenomenal in Thiruchitrambalam, playing a key character that she nails to perfection.

Veteran filmmaker Bharathiraja gets a meaty part which he plays incredibly well. Some of the film’s best scenes involve Dhanush, Nithya and Bharathiraja at their best. Anirudh Ravichander’s music is another major highlight of the movie. His work is a heartfelt tribute to the legendary Ilayaraja, and the songs and background score elevate the mood of the movie on so many occasions.