Chennai, 17 May 2019 22:28 IST
Mr Local is easily the weakest Sivakarthikeyan film in recent years. Had he done this film five years ago, it would have been understandable.
Sivakarthikeyan’s films are no longer fun like they used to be and his latest outing, Mr Local, which also stars Nayanthara, is no different.
Cut from the same cloth as director M Rajesh’s previous offerings such as SMS and Boss Engira Bhaskaran, minus Santhanam’s terrific screen presence, Mr Local centres on a happy-go-lucky youngster Manohar (Sivakarthikeyan) from a middle-class family and his escapades as he locks horns with egotistic business tycoon Keerthana (Nayanthara).
Unfortunately, Mr Local isn’t as funny as Rajesh’s previous works and is mildly entertaining but mostly boring. It is as though Sivakarthikeyan has run out of character options that he keeps playing a middle-class youngster in all his films. For the umpteenth time, he plays a middle-class guy whose happy life revolves around his doting mother and sister.
But when he crosses paths with the self-centred businesswoman Keerthana, who likes to keep people under her thumb, Mano does not give in easily and what follows between them forms the crux of the story.
Mr Local is easily the weakest Sivakarthikeyan film in recent years. Had he done this film five years ago, I would have understood that he was playing safe. But it is plain lazy to even attempt such a film when he has grown as a star and has a large following.
Without the comedy, Mr Local would have been just unbearable. Despite the predictable plot and the done-to-death romance, the jokes make this a decent watch to an extent. Sathish, Yogi Babu and Robo Shankar, with their comedy, breathe life into an otherwise boring film. As long as the jokes work, Mr Local is mildly entertaining, but it becomes unbearable when it focuses on the clash between Siva and Nayanthara and their romance.
It is not surprising that Mr Local isn’t great, but what is utterly disappointing is what Nayanthara saw in a role where she has to be put in her place by the hero. After proving her mettle in films such as Maya (2015), Dora (2017) and Airaa (2019), it is hard to fathom why she would pick such a film where she has very little to deliver.
Radhika Sarathkumar as the ever doting mother is decent, but it is a familiar role that she has played so many times. Comedy is Siva’s forte and no other current mainstream hero can be as effective as him when it comes to entertaining audiences. However, he needs a filmmaker who can really tap into his comic skills and deliver a film that is wholesomely entertaining.
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