In the absence of remarkable films, let’s see if there are at least some remarkable statistics. For instance, was last week the first time we saw the release of two films whose names harked back to older hits? Paayum Puli was one. Sathyasiva’s Savaale Samaali is the other – and it has nothing to do with the Sivaji Ganesan drama about his villager taming Jayalalitha’s city-bred shrew. (This was apparently a very popular trope those days. A year later, the same actors played the same parts in Pattikada Pattanama.) Anyway, this Savaale Samaali is about Ashok Selvan laying an egg. I don’t blame the actor. The law of averages probably dictated that after a run of fair-to-good films (Soodhu Kavvum, Pizza 2: The Villa, Thegidi), he was bound to appear in this comedy about saving a bottom-rung television channel named… Top TV. I suppose that counts as irony. He also falls for the girl-next-door played by Bindu Madhavi and begins to star in dream duets. The tourism-department head of some foreign country is the only one who emerged happy out of this mess.
The cast isn’t bad. Oorvasi plays Oorvasi. Paravai Muniamma takes over the hero’s-best-friend role – she even supplies bottles of beer. Jagan made me giggle with a line about “nightie mela towel poatta aunties.” But it doesn’t last. And there’s the usual misogyny. We get a scene where the love-struck hero ends up in the heroine’s house and fails to make an impression on her. Jagan sums up the situation thus (I’m paraphrasing): Missed call pannra figure-aiye Mrs aakidraanga. Voluntary-a ulla koopta ponna vaandhi edukka vekkalaye… Charming. Then, out of nowhere, we get a PSA about saving the koothu tradition. Karunas channels his inner Sivaji Ganesan and delivers (what he thinks is) a heartfelt speech. Some movies you rate with stars. This is one of those you rate by the number of times you look at your watch.
- Paayum Puli = see here
- Savaale Samaali = see here
- Pattikada Pattanama = see here
- Soodhu Kavvum = see here
- Pizza 2: The Villa = see here
- Thegidi = see here
- koothu = see here
Copyright ©2015 Baradwaj Rangan. This article may not be reproduced in its entirety without permission. A link to this URL, instead, would be appreciated.