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Singakutti, a little of everything
Pavithra Srinivasan | March 24, 2008 13:08 IST
Loud music, thundering beats, a lion's paws spattering all over the screen and the hero erupting into existence with a bang -- yes, these are all signs of yet another commercial potboiler, complete with a fair-complexioned heroine.
Tamil Screen's and Sripriya's Singakkutti (Lioncub), directed by A Venkatesh who gave us Bhagavathi and Aei follows the formula perfectly with some notable differences.
When super-hero wannabe Kathir (Sivaji Jr, with solid pedigree on his acting side) prevents a bomb blast in Madurai and hands over a terrorist to the authorities all in a few seconds, you squirm, wondering if this is going to be one of those washed out blockbusters that are dime a dozen.
The first half certainly does nothing to dispel that impression. Kathir waltzes through college, sees a girl on the beach in Mayavaram, Anjali (Gowri Munjal [Images]) and is instantly smitten. Villains erupt naturally -- the girl's bodyguard Komban and one her college-mates who dislikes Kathir at first sight.
But friends abound for Kathir as well: a gang of buddies support him, while Vivek, passionately in love with actress Malavika, is good for a few laughs as he supplies them with cash in exchange for any tidbit about his favourite heroine -- certainly, his track is better than what it has been in the recent past.
You'd expect Kathir's storybook romance, wherein he gets Anjali's love with practically nil effort, to descend into the usual chaos, with her father, the famed Kalimark soft drinks owner, beating him up black and blue. Surprisingly, though, the big-hearted man is open to the idea, and bowing to Kathir's mother's (Saranya) wishes, agrees to wait for an engagement, while Kathir moves away to complete his training as a Sub-Inspector.
So what's left, you ask? Ah, but that's the crux of the matter. When Kathir returns to Madurai, head full of rosy dreams, disaster awaits him: his family has been kidnapped. A mysterious caller on a cell-phone tortures him, watching his every step, documenting his every move. His bag is stolen, friends move away, and he ends up beaten black and bluer. Why? What? When? And most important, who? Watch the movie to find out.
Newcomer Sivaji Jr has been handed a screenplay even established actors would give their right arm for, and he has made some use of it. His innocent eyes give away his youth while his muscles come in handy during the fight scenes. Acting wise, however, there's nothing much for him to do.
Gowri Munjal is your typical northern beauty: precious little to do, even lesser to say, which is as well. Vivek steals the show in several places, while Malavika flits in and out, providing some comic relief and a remixed number, a staple of today's movies.
Venkatesh's screenplay has the right mix, even if the item and romantic songs prove a headache in their placement. Well aware of what a new hero's launch vehicle should be, he has set out to provide a good fare which satisfies everyone's appetite.
Loose ends are tied up and irrelevant points matched up -- no matter that they're slightly far-fetched. Prasanna Sekhar's music fits the bill with the background score doing its job well.
Looking for a movie that has a little of everything, including a passable plot? This is your surest bet.
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