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Sadhu Miranda..., a good crime thriller
Pavithra Srinivasan | February 08, 2008 18:28 IST
At first look, you'll have to admit that the Tamil film Saadhu Miranda... (If the Meek are angered) doesn't look very promising, with its hero looking a little too naive, and its heroine too made-up, not to mention a horde of cheesy villains. But Alka Film Corporation's venture, directed by Siddique, soon makes you sit up and take notice.
Touted as a comedy-thriller, the movie begins with a bank robbery that seems to be amateurishly filmed. The robbers soon leave the scene of crime behind, after a bloody murder and a heist of Rs 20 crores. Enter the protagonist SivaSundaram (Prasanna) as Saadhu who's seemingly a muff, but with hidden strengths up his sleeve.
He trips into the city looking every bit as innocent as a gawky young man on his first tete-a-tete with the underworld, and meets up with David Raj (Manoj K Jeyan in a miniscule role), waving a wad of rupee notes and asking for 'stuff' to sell (the unnecessary fight makes the encounter fall flat).
Soon, he has a small-scale army at his heels running all over alleys, bitten by dogs and falling into dung heaps. And in a manner that's thankfully different from routine movie-twists, he calls up the heroine, Priya (Kavya Madhvan), a compere for Jaya TV, to tell her that he's going to commit suicide.
After this point, the sort of left-in-mid-air feeling ends, and you're firmly settled in your seat. The narrative slips from drug lords to petty villains, a minister who screeches on phones about stolen loot to another player in the game, Ram Mohan (Abbas, who's finally found a meaty enough role), a drug-addict (Raja Sridhar) and seemingly incongruent details like Sundaram solving Priya's maths problem.
The screenplay flips back and forth like a lurching mountain road, with lots of little loose ends that Siddique (who is also the screenplay-writer) neatly ties up in the end.
While the film requires enormous concentration for a light-hearted movie, it does have its laugh-out-loud interludes provided by Charlie, Vaiyapuri and company. Karunas too supplies a few moments of grin factor, which thankfully, the director knows when to stop, thereby saving the whole act from sliding into utter silliness.
The only exception, however is poor Kotta Srinivasa Rao, who touches heights of absurdity by being the butt of jokes. But then again, the slick turns in the story keep you from squirming in your seat.
Prasanna reminds you of Ghajini's Surya at times, but thankfully he is his own actor. Kavya Madhavan [Images] is ravishing, and fits the bill. Abbas, after a long time, finally has a role to act in. Deepak Dev's music makes your feet tap to numbers like Kaasu Venum and Ha Bi bi...
The movie is also notable for the fact that a hero actually uses his brain to outwit the villains -- and succeeds!
In retrospect, don't be fooled by the rather clumsy first half-hour of the movie; it gets better. And if the director had avoided some silliness and the too-made up sets, the film would actually have become a classic.
But then again, you can't have it all, right?
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