A lot of scenes in the film reminded me of Mani Ratnam's pattern and treatment of love stories -- love at first sight, the talkative partner, picturesque song sequences and of course, longing and heartbreak, observes Divya Nair.
The Tamil romantic comedy Hey Sinamika, now streaming on Netflix, marks award-winning dance master Brinda's debut as a director.
The title is inspired from the soundtrack of Mani Ratnam's film O Kadhal Kanmani, but does the film work?
In the first few minutes, we are introduced to Yazhan (Dulquer Salmaan) who falls in love with Mouna (Aditi Rao Hydari), a paleotempestologist, at a coffee shop. Before you google that word, Yazhan explains how he is aware of the profession that deals with the study of storms, cyclones and geological conditions.
A classic case of 'opposites attract', Yazhan and Mouna get married over a mushy song and dance sequence.
Two years later, Yazhan, now a house husband, is still madly in love as he ticks all the boxes of a perfect partner.
His only weakness? He talks a lot.
Yazhan's abundance of affection and passionate intervention in all daily affairs increasingly annoys Mouna who now feels stifled in her home by her choice, somehow robbed of her independence to do what she wants.
To escape from Yazhan and enjoy a good break, she takes up a year-long construction project in Puducherry.
Mouna's plan to finally have some freedom flops when Yazhan follows her to support her.
With the help of her friends, Mouna gets Yazhan employed as an RJ to keep him busy.
At the same time, she hires her next-door relationship counsellor Malarvizhi (Kajal Aggarwal) to seduce Yazhan so she can use that as an excuse to separate from her 'near-perfect' husband.
The first half of the film is pretty dull and unconvincing, thanks to long monologues and unreal situations clearly added for run-time and comic relief.
It's the second half where the film actually gets to the point.
When Mouna realises that her idea to get her husband hooked has rubbed the wrong way, she loses it.
When Yazhan realises that he was played by not one, but two women, it changes him as well.
It is during this phase we get to see the characters open up to each other and get honest about their feelings, expectations and disappointments.
The film gets a few things right about why modern relationships fail despite two people fighting to fall and stay in love.
What it doesn't get right is the depth of its characters.
The chemistry between the lead characters is average, if not entirely romantic. Except for Malarvizhi, who briefly hints about the incidents that shaped her opinion and thoughts, we don't get to know much about Yazhan, Mouna, their backstory or why they even fell in love. That is partly why the film didn't work for me.
They say, distance/absence makes the heart grow fonder. But isn't that for people who are truly in love?
Yazhan brags about lifetime commitment in a relationship, but doesn't it take two to tango?
The film ends with a message: Two is company, three is a crowd.
Govind Vasantha's music is an advantage at times. One of the songs Megham, sung by Govind, inspired from his band's Fish Rock and written by Madan Karky, is beautifully produced and presented in the film. But four songs is just too much and unnecessary.
A lot of scenes in the film reminded me of Mani Ratnam's pattern and treatment of love stories -- love at first sight, the talkative partner, picturesque song sequences and of course, longing and heartbreak.
The admiration is obvious, but it doesn't hold you long and strong enough.
Hey Sinamika attempts to offer a fresh insight on modern relationships, but I felt it fails to explore the impact of failed relationships.
Hey Sinamika streams on Netflix.