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Sindhubaadh review: Even Vijay Sethupathi can’t save this action thriller

Release Date: 27 Jun 2019 / Rated: U/A / 02hr 14min

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Haricharan Pudipeddi

SU Arun Kumar’s Sindhubaadh, which had a lot riding on it since it was announced, is the weakest of the director's three films so far with Vijay Sethupathi.

There is a new Vijay Sethupathi film out every other month and it is both good and bad news. The good news is that we get to see more of Vijay and he is someone you don’t tire of watching on screen, even in the most generic roles.

The bad news is that along with the widely popular '96 (2018) and the brilliant Super Deluxe (2019), we also get some really mediocre films like Junga (2018) and Oru Nalla Naal Paathu Solren (2018) which only make the case that Vijay should slow down on the number of projects he is signing.

SU Arun Kumar’s Sindhubaadh, which had a lot riding on it since it was announced, is the weakest of the filmmaker's three movies with Vijay so far.

Sindhubaadh is built on a simple premise, one that is very familiar in mainstream Tamil cinema. Vijay Sethupathi plays Thiru, a small-time thief who picks pockets and steals from the affluent with the help of his boy companion Super (played by Vijay’s son Surya Sethupathi).

The scenes between Thiru and Super are full of warmth and they share a relationship that is deep but, thankfully, never verbalized. The father and son are a treat to watch. They add so much life to the film’s first half through their bond that comes through in small moments sans any dialogue.

Though you wish for more of these moments, the film then takes a needless action detour and the result is quite disappointing.

A chance encounter with Venba (Anjali), a contract labourer from Malaysia who has come home on a brief vacation, makes Thiru fall in love. Thiru has a problem hearing everything and Venba has the habit of speaking loudly. Thiru believes it’s a perfect match and starts wooing her. Knowing he is good at heart, Venba eventually reciprocates his feelings, much against the wishes of her family.

Soon, Venba leaves for Malaysia. The next time Thiru receives a call from her, she is crying and pleading with him to come and save her. As Thiru lands in Malaysia in search of Venba, he earns the wrath of local gangster Ling. The rest of the story is about how he rescues Venba and deals with Ling and his army of henchmen.

After a fairly decent first half which also manages to make us laugh here and there, Sindhubaadh becomes so problematic after the interval that it is tiresome to sit through.

In the second half, Sindhubaadh aspires to be an action film — courtesy some ambitious but haphazardly executed action stretches — but it lacks the thrills to keep us invested till the end. For instance, there is a scene where we see Thiru literally jump from one building to another and he wants to make it look cool but fails miserably in the attempt. Most of these action sequences are so badly edited that they take away even the slightest element of thrill that the film could offer.

If not for its lead characters and their performances, Sindhubaadh would have ended up a dreadful film. It wants to project Vijay Sethupathi as an action hero, but sadly this is a film that doesn’t even come close.

Director SU Arun Kumar, who arrived as a promising talent with films like Pannaiyarum Padminiyum (2014) and Sethupathi (2016), struggles to make a decent action film out of Sindhubaadh which may have worked better as a drama exploring the bond between Thiru and Super.

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