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Thuramukham Movie Review: A fictional recounting based on real events from Mattancherry

Modified On: 11 March 2023 | Reviewed By:

Storyline: Moidu, a port labourer, is hired as a goon by company management and the police to unleash violence on the fledgling trade union movement started by workers. The story is Set in the 50s.

Thuramukham (2023)

Director: Rajeev Ravi | Music Director: K

Thuramukham (2023) Movie Poster

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Review: Thuramukham tells the story, based on real events from Mattancherry, of the evolution of trade unionism and the struggle by laborers’ unions to change the inhumane systems of doling out work to port workers. In the 40s and 50s, there existed a chappa system, by which metal tokens were tossed to laborers who gathered for work in the morning. In the scuttle that ensued, those who managed to pick up a coin got work and those who didn’t went home to a starving family.

Even those who were lucky enough to get work were paid barely a pittance. When laborers started to build a trade union to fight for their rights, the administration tried to brutally suppress it with a police firing that resulted in three fatalities in 1953.

Based on this history, is the narrative of Moidu (Nivin Pauly), and his family that includes his mother (Poornima Indrajit), brother (Arjun Ashokan), sister (Darshana Rajendran), and ‘paramour’ (Nimisha Sajayan). Moidu, irresponsible and with a skewed moral compass, is roped in to smuggle by the management of the port company and nurtured as a goon by them and the police.

Though he is a laborer, he has no qualms about violently attacking the leaders of the fledgling left-wing trade union movement. Even the tears of his mother does not move him to change his ways. Nivin does not hold back in playing a villain, and he and Poornima deliver excellent performances, showing the frustrations and pathos of the lives of labourers and their families.

Director Rajeev Ravi infuses his usual atmospheric heft to the film, scripted by Gopan Chidambaram. Thuramukham has a slower pace and characters that needed a bit more fullness to make them more dear to the audience.

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