Sunday, February 10, 2008

Saadhu Mirandaa

In Friends and Engal Anna, director Siddique blended sentiments and comedy well enough to deliver films that were entertaining overall. But its a lot more difficult to mix comedy with suspense and that shows in his latest venture Saadhu Mirandaa. The comic sequences are definitely the film's high points but they exist rather uneasily in what is primarily a thriller - and an average one at that.

The film opens with a bank robbery committed by two men in masks. The scene then shifts to six months later, when Siva(Prasanna) arrives in the city looking for a rowdy Davidraj(Manoj K Jayan). We soon learn that Siva is the brother of Rammohan(Abbas), who is now in America. Rammohan wants Siva to join him in the US but Siva steadfastly refuses, asking his brother to come and see him instead. Siva gets in touch with Priya(Kavya Madhavan), a TV hostess who has also been promised a job in the US by Rammohan and with her help, finally manages to convince Rammohan to return.

Saadhu Mirandaa is too complicated. Its not that there are too many characters or story tracks but the way the story has been narrated makes the plot seem much more convoluted than it actually is. A complicated narrative is not exactly a bad thing in Tamil cinema where most plots are straightforward and simplistic. Its just that the plot here doesn't deserve the complicated narration. It takes a while for us to understand how characters are connected and what their backgrounds are but once we do, the complications until then seem like much ado about nothing.

Siddique's strength obviously lies in comedy. Vadivelu's track in Friends would still rank as one of his best and Engal Anna had its share of good laughs. So it is no surprise that the comedy segments in Saadhu Mirandaa end up being its best parts. Baskar, Karunas, Charlie and Vaiyapuri, in that order, have some very funny lines and visual gags. Unfortunately, these segments are too few and far between since the movie is primarily a thriller. And as the movie winds down, the comedy segues also feel a little odd, as in the climax when a serious confrontation is taking place on one side of the roof and the comedians indulge in their shtick on the other.

One wouldn't have missed the comedy so much if the thriller had been constructed more skilfully. Sure there are a few surprises(one of them, a big one, is very good) in the plot developments but holes abound in the story (the biggest one obviously being how Prasanna knew about the people he is targeting). The movie has been constructed the right way with Prasanna's actions keeping us wondering about his motives and the dots getting connected as missing pieces of the puzzle are revealed. Its just the puzzle, when its complete, is rather plain and cliched. Many of the so-called big twists(who Moorthy is, why Prasanna is doing all that he is doing, etc.) are predictable, which makes their revelations rather anti-climactic.

Prasanna, who has so far been stuck in romances and light-hearted comedies, gets the chance to play an action hero here. He doesn't look comfortable in the stunt sequences and seems a tad slow. But he has no problems acting dumb or driven(and he gets the chance to play both). Kavya looks short and chubby but is convincing in her role. Baskar gets the lion's share of the laughs with just his accent though Charlie has the best visual gags and Karunas' plight elicits a few laughs too. Kota Srinivasa Rao is funny but is ineffective since we're never sure if his character(he plays a minister) is supposed to be silly or serious.


At 10:36 PM, Blogger Bart said...

This review is pretty hot, i.e.: quick. Looks there are positives and negatives. (review seems more positive w.r.t. most pongal releases) Worth a watch?

At 3:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where's the Kaalai review? :S

At 6:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you seen pudichirukku ? Its the suprise hit of pongal.. It stars all newcomers & movie is getting raving reviews.

At 9:33 AM, Blogger Orange Fronkey said...

Pushpa, pudichirukku is not entirely composed of newbies.. the boy has acted in another movie which I don't know the name of...

as for Saadhu mirandaa and Prasanna... he hasn't had a hit since kanda naal muthal, that kinda stinks! poor thing. He sure looks good in the picture though *fans her self* LOL

At 11:07 AM, Blogger Balaji said...

bart, i'd say wait for the dvd :)

prin, have seen it but didn't have time to put up the review. will try to add it this week :)

pushpa, nope. though i really want to see it :)

merino, he acted in 'murugaa' and did OK in that :)

At 5:53 PM, Blogger Bart said...

Side note:
Prin, you might want to check out this link on "Kaalai".


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