Sharan Koppishetty's film boasts of fine performances though the mechanical storytelling hurts its cause
A young, ambitious lawyer Ramachandra, who hopes to make it big in his profession, manages his livelihood with a few petty cases in a small-time law firm. After he joins a bigger firm, Ram is handed over an eight-year-old case surrounding the murder of a cab driver Arvind. A former server at a bar, Vasu, is accused as the murderer. Anu, Ram's girlfriend and his colleague, Sudhakar, help Ram at every step in cracking key details about the case. From the motive behind the murder to Vasu's arrest and the role of lawyer Vahanrao and cop Bhupathi in the case, Ram needs to unlock several clues in this mysterious puzzle.
Thimmarusu is a rare songless narrative in Telugu cinema (if you ignore the title number in the end credits) whose only focus is to stick to the story from the word go. No time is wasted in giving any breathing space for audiences or needless larger-than-life introduction stretches to the characters. Honestly, the plot-driven film, apart from some minor comic relief, remains a serious affair through and through. The crime thriller, bolstered by fine performances from its lead cast Satyadev, Brahmaji and Ankith Koyya, has riveting twists, crisp two-hour runtime, yet remains very mechanical and robotic in its execution.
The protagonist, advocate Ramachandra, is an underdog obsessed with his job and delivering justice to his clients. The film shows as if he's only born to take up the case he's entrusted with. He's so committed, precise with his research; nothing can go wrong when he's on the field. He is more of an investigative cop/detective than a lawyer, beating up goons, chasing his leads, delivering spontaneous punchlines and monologues on 'dharma' one after the other. Not even a brush with death can scare him. He, honestly, doesn't feel human.
It's hard to keep your eyes away from Thimmarusu throughout its runtime, thanks to the slick screenplay. However, the film hardly strikes a chord emotionally. Nothing about the plight of Vasu or the lawyer moves you. The highs and lows of the characters feel very hurried. By the time you're absorbing one twist, the plot takes a newer turn; the viewing experience is more tiring than thrilling. Thimmarusu preserves its best twist for the climax but it's executed in such a matter-of-factly fashion devoid of any impact.
The romance between Satyadev and Priyanka Jawalkar feels so out of place and inconsequential to the plot. Brahmaji is aptly cast as the protagonist's colleague, ringing in some much-needed comic relief to the proceedings. After a fantastic performance in Johaar, Ankith Koyya gets a meaty role to prove his worth again. There's no major element of surprise with the casting of Ajay as the corrupt cop while actor-director Ravi Babu's presence doesn't add much value to the film either. Jhansi is as good as ever in a brief role as the victim's mother. As a filmmaker, Sharan Koppishetty extracts fine performances from his team, though the storytelling leaves a lot to be desired.
Thimmarusu, more than a crime thriller, works as a showcase of Satyadev Kancharana's versatility as a performer. It has a solid plot, crisp runtime that relies on logic but never grows on you emotionally. A not-so-bad one-time watch at best!