Review: ‘Dhoomam’ is a complicated thriller with good intentions


Film: Dhoomam

Cast: Fahadh Faasil, Aparna Balamurali, Achyuth Kumar, Roshan Mathew, Vineeth and others

Director: Pawan Kumar

Producer: Vijay Kiragandur

Pawan Kumar of ‘Lucia’ fame is always known for his thrillers with social relevance. His latest offering ‘Dhoomam’ is also another socially relevant thriller with Smoking as its backdrop.

Avinash (Fahadh Faasil) is a successful marketing head of a cigarette company who does numerous campaigns which significantly boost the company’s sales. Slowly, his conscience begins to torment him as he understands that even children are falling prey to tobacco addiction because of his new strategies and campaigns. This compels him to quit his job. But his boss Sid (Roshan Mathew) doesn’t want to lose him.

The film starts off with a couple Avinash and Diya (Aparna Balamurali) being abducted by an unknown person who plants a time bomb inside Diya. The couple is forced to give a ransom of Rs 1 crore within a specific timeframe. The bomb’s timer can only be kept from tickling down by smoking cigarettes. So, who is behind this abduction? Is it the corporate world or the nexus between politics and corporate or others?  The story focuses on the various efforts of the couple from escaping the disaster.

Read More: Kannada version of ‘Dhoomam’ to release in more than 150 theaters

The film revolves around smoking and its impact on the society. Pawan Kumar in his film highlights how the tobacco companies which are aware of the risks of smoking yet promote cigarettes. He tells a preachy tale with a dose of thrills. The message is not only commendable; but it’s high time the general public gets awareness about the side effects of smoking.

However, a confusing screenplay complicates the film. Pawan in a bid to captivate the audience doesn’t conclude the story and leaves many unanswered questions. In spite of so many twists and turns, the film is slow and does not impact the audience. Another major drawback of this film it does not emotionally connect with the audience except for a few scenes. The film is told in a non-linear format and the frequent flashbacks hinder the viewing experience.

The highlight of the film is a fine performance by Fahadh and Roshan. Though their potential has not been tapped to the fullest, it is their presence which makes the film watchable. Aparna Balamurali who is known for her fine performances in her previous films disappoints here. Achyuth Kumar, Vineeth does not have much to do in this film. Cinematographer Preetha Jayaraman and music composer Poornachandra Tejaswi have tried creating a compelling atmosphere.

‘Dhoomam’ certainly has a good message and might have been made with noble intentions. But the film falls short due to lack of a good writing.

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