Tholvi F.C. is yet another take on dysfunctional family dynamics, but this time there is a lot of humor and drama that comes with understanding a family that is scattered when it comes to their plans and ambitions. Their end goal is the same, which is to succeed in their ventures eventually. Directed by George Kora, this film is a slice-of-life story of a family that is trying to find a foothold for themselves.
What Is Oommen Up To?
Oommen is a young man from a middle-class family who quit his high-paying IT job to start a chain of small restaurants that serve different kinds of tea known as ‘Chai Nation’. He is raising money for investment so that he can turn his ‘Chai Nation’ into a chain all over the city. His investor, Althaf, asks him to find someone like Abu, who is the highlight of the restaurant that prepares excellent tea. If Oommen can do that, his chain will be a success, and Althaf will be ready to invest in his business plan. Oommen is in two minds on how to find another staff member that would replicate the tea Abu makes, and it disrupts his business expansion plans. His relationship with his girlfriend also goes through a rough patch due to his constant attention given to the growth of ‘Chai Nation.’
What Are Thambi’s Plans?
Thambi is Oommen’s younger brother, and he coaches a junior sevens team in the city. His team ‘Thambi FC’ is known for being defeated continuously, but he has not lost hope. Thambi is a kid at heart and loves hanging out with the team players more than adults. There is honesty in the kids, which he can tolerate, rather than surrounding himself with adults who he feels are hypocrites. His team player Rizwan introduces him to his aunt Maryam, only for him to realize she was a good football player herself in childhood and was Thambi’s classmate. Both bond over their shared interest in the game and become friends. Thambi wants to make sure the team wins the upcoming game, so that he could be an assistant coach of a team that is playing in bigger leagues. With the help of Maryam and the remaining team players who did not quit, Thambi commences his hunt to find the right footballer, and he is successful as well.
What Are Shoshamma And Her Husband, Kuruvilla, Fighting Over?
Shoshamma and Kuruvilla are the parents who are constantly fighting over money and lack of gratitude. Shoshamma is a librarian and an aspiring novelist; she is expected to run the household like a well-oiled machine while the men claim to be busy bringing money into the house. Kuruvilla is interested in stock markets and lost a lot of money in a bogus scam involving cryptocurrency. This forces Shoshamma to ask him to leave the house to understand the value of the money that she had pumped into the household out of her salary.
Kuruvilla is forced to live with his son Oommen at the restaurant premises. Oommen asks him to work for the establishment instead of lying around contemplating what to do next in life. Kuruvilla is forced to refer to his son as the boss and takes the work rather lightly until Oommen lets him know the remuneration will depend on his work. Kuruvilla had to pull up his socks and start working hard. This made him feel an ounce of gratitude for the work Shoshamma did for him.
Shoshamma, on the other hand, is expecting news from a publication that might be interested in printing her detective novel. Unfortunately, she receives bad news, but she refuses to give up on the hope of becoming a published novelist. A struggling filmmaker came across her draft who was seeking the right kind of story to adapt into a film. As he gets his hands on the draft, there is a possibility that Shoshamma might get a screen credit.
How Does Oommen Sort Out His Mess?
Oommen is one of the sponsors of Thambi’s team and is frustrated with his brother’s management skills. He introduces his brother to a couple of regular customers who are engineers trying to build software for sports teams to understand their performance through trackers placed on their footwear. Oomeen is under the impression that this trial would help Thambi figure out the weak points and strengthen their team based on the results he received from the tracker. Initially, Thambi is not very keen on this idea, but he takes up the offer at his brother’s insistence. Thambi might also get closer to getting the job he was offered if his team wins because of the performance tracker.
Oommen also built a tea machine from scratch to resolve the matter Althaf raised. Oommen is an engineer himself, and he successfully built the Automated Brewing Unit, aka ABU, named after his skilled tea maker at the establishment. He plans to place these machines at other outlets and to keep alive the taste of the tea Abu created. Althaf was impressed by his hard work and the quality of the beverage that the machine produced. He agrees to invest, and this gives Oommen the head start to patch things up with his girlfriend, who was her support system during her struggling days.
Will The Family Eventually Succeed In Their Ventures?
Kuruvilla and Shoshamma finally find a middle ground to sort out their matter as a long-term married couple. Kuruvilla wanted to offer his apology to his wife out of appreciation for her being his pillar of support, even though he admits having not been an understanding husband so far. There is a sense of gratitude in his tone, which he found while working for his son. The experience grounded him and allowed him to see the world from a new perspective. He moves back home, but as a changed person. If Shoshamma had not taken the drastic step, Kuruvilla may have remained a lazy, aging patriarch who does not contribute to the family.
Shoshamma finds validation in the fact that the struggling filmmaker is considering her novel as the story for his film. This is the kind of acceptance she had been seeking all these years; unfortunately, she never received it from her family or any publishing houses. Shoshamma finally found confidence in herself, and it would probably encourage her to write more. Shoshamma, just like every other mother figure in slice-of-life films, ends up having a good arc that would project her importance in the family.
Thambi is on the verge of securing a high-profile job, and he has been asked to showcase his skills as a coach if his team wins. There is a genuine fear in him, but he has received support from his brother, Maryam, and his team of young boys. The young boys are a source of happiness, as they respect Thambi a lot. Thambi seems to have reached a point in life where he would want to make some major career changes to prove himself to be a responsible member of his family. There was a genuine fondness shared between Maryam and Thambi, and they were hoping things could work in their favor.
Thambi’s player, Rizwan, who is Maryam’s nephew as well, was chatting with a girl of his age named Zoya. Both are too young to even consider the idea of dating, but this is the age of social media, and growing up, having an innocent love interest is not considered an offense if both people are of the same age. Rizwan does not turn up for the match, which worries Maryam and Thambi. They decide to find Rizwan using the tracker placed in his footwear. The plan had to work in their favor, which proves the tracker is useful, not just for enhancing performance. The device took them to a secluded home where a man was on the verge of molesting Rizwan. He was immediately rescued, but not before Oommen beat the man black and blue.
Tholvi F.C. ends with Thambi’s team losing the match and the man losing the job offer. Thambi had to abandon the match to find Rizwan, which many consider an act of indiscipline. Thambi had to choose between saving Rizwan because he treated him as his younger brother or staying at the match as a coach. There was a familial bond that made him choose the young boy. Thambi was probably aware he might lose out on the job, but he risked it. The job was offered to Maryam to take over as a coach at the time of the crisis. Maryam was equally knowledgeable about the game as Thambi is. Her skill set led to a sudden job offer, which she wholeheartedly accepted. Thambi and the team are happy for her, as she can now find the freedom she is seeking after her divorce. Even though there is a genuine affection for each other, Thambi wants Maryam to build a life for herself.
During Tholvi F.C.’s ending, Oommen introduces his girlfriend to his family. Oommen was probably not sure if his family would be accepting of her not being from Kerala, but he had to rip the band-aid off and do the deed.