Review Tamil

Seemaraja review: Predictable, boring story salvaged by Soori's comedy

Cinestaan Rating

Release Date: 13 Sep 2018 / Rated: U / 02hr 38min

Manigandan KR

If you are a Sivakarthikeyan fan, this is nothing like any of the actor's earlier films and you would be doing yourself a favour by giving it a miss.

Actor Sivakarthikeyan's Seemaraja is, like all of his other films, a commercial entertainer. The only difference is that while all his other films worked, this one might have great difficulty accomplishing that task.

The reason is that the film is an attempt at brand building which seems to have gone horribly wrong. Sivakarthikeyan, drunk on the idea that he has only been delivering hits, seems to have been in a hurry to underline his rise in stature among the stars and has sought to use this film as a vehicle to drive home the point.

In the process, what he has done is picked a script that projects him as a star rather than as the boy-next-door, something which worked to his advantage in all his earlier films.  

The pleasant, cheerful, boy-next-door Sivakarthikeyan, who had endeared himself to the masses, has gone missing in this film and in his stead, a Sivakarthikeyan, who delivers punchlines, takes potshots at political situations and parties, and does everything that would get people to hero worship him appears. His characterisation is so distinct and the idea behind that characterisation is so evident in this film that it is impossible to miss what the actor is trying to do. Sadly though, it is bound to work against him.

The story of this film is a run-of-the-mill kind. Seemaraja (Sivakarthikeyan) is the son of the Rajah (Napoleon) of Singampatti, a large province that was taken over by the government after Independence. In fact, the Rajah, knowing that the government would be taking over the province, would have chosen to give away huge tracts of land to all his subjects. No wonder then that the Rajah of Singampatti is loved by the masses. The Rajah commands great respect over the subjects of the province who still treat him as the Rajah.

Seemaraja has an accountant, who is more of a friend, called Kanakku (Soori). Life is by and large peaceful in Singampatti with Seemaraja and his manager-cum-accountant Kanakku going around, having fun.

The only problems that arise in Singampatti are the ones that happen due to the skirmishes between people of the region and those from a village called Puliampatti. This is because Puliampatti is led by Karikadai Kannan (Lal) a greedy and ruthless butcher, whose only grouse is that he has not been able to acquire the title of Rajah despite having grown in stature.

Kannan has a dark history and we are told of this through a flashback sequence. Kannan, who was a butcher initially, would have got into the windmill business and then changed his name to Kaathu Kannan. Kannan's adviser would have been his mistress, Kaleeshwari (Simran). In fact, it is to marry Kaleeshwari that he would have separated from his wife.

On Kaleeshwari's advice, he levels allegations of adultery against his innocent wife, who, unable to stomach his allegations dies by suicide. The very next day after her death, Kannan marries Kaleeshwari, unmindful of the fate of his daughter Selvi (Samantha), who he abandons.

Selvi is cared for by her uncle (her mother's brother), while Kannan and his new wife Kaleeshwari keep gaining wealth and power. It is because of this that the Rajah of Singampatti throws Kannan and Kaleeshwari out from the market in his province. Not the kind to let go of an insult unanswered, Kannan and his wife Kaleeshwari look for an opportunity to settle scores with the Rajah and his family members. Therefore, Kannan causes trouble wherever he can.

Back to the present day scenario. And once again, the predictable happens. Seemaraja falls in love with Selvi (Samantha), who now works as a physical education teacher in a school. Just when Selvi too is on the verge of accepting Seemaraja's love, Kannan, looking to deny the Seemaraja the girl he loves, reclaims Selvi as his own daughter. How Seemaraja wins the heart and hand of Selvi is what the film is all about.

The story is long, boring and predictable. In fact, there are portions that are really annoying, primarily because of the manner in which certains sequences are exaggerated.

Sivakarthikeyan has tried to brand himself as a full-fledged hero, by performing action sequences in which he takes on several fighters, more heavily built than he is. This does not impress. Instead, it only makes audiences laugh.

Samantha is just her cheerful self and has no problems playing this role to perfection. In fact, such a simple role must have been a cakewalk for an actress of her calibre. The actress wins brownie points in this one for the manner in which she showcases her stick fighting skills. She looks every bit the professional silambam fighter in this one.

Soori happens to be the biggest plus in this film. If the film works, it is because of Soori, who seems to have saved the day with his one-liners. His comedy keeps the film from becoming unbearable. One other aspect that deserves special mention is the six-pack abs that he sports in the film. This might well be the first time in Tamil cinema when a comedian has sported a six-pack. The actor certainly seems to have given a 100% from his end to make the film work.

Napoleon, returning to films after a long hiatus, shows he hasn't lost his touch. But it is Simran, who takes the limelight with her performance. The actress, who was a top heroine at one point in time, showcases a completely different facet of hers in this film. She plays the role of the wicked, heartless Kaleeshwari to perfection, thereby proving that she can play both the heroine and the anti-heroine characters' with equal ease.  

Director Ponram's film is long and has several portions that are exaggerated and annoying in nature. He just about manages to sustain the interest of the audience through the funny interactions between the characters and therefore the film is bearable. However, if you are a Sivakarthikeyan fan, this is nothing like any of the actor's earlier films and you would be doing yourself a favour by giving it a miss.

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