Natural ... yet not entirely so -- Sivappadhikaaram
FINE BUCOLIC FLAVOUR: Sivappadhikaaram
Director: Karu. Pazhaniappan
Cast: Vishal, Mamta, Raghuvaran
Storyline: An upright young man rises in wrath against wrongdoers.
Bottomline: A few new angles to the vengeance drama.
The best thing about Screenplay Entertainment Private Ltd.'s `Sivappadhikaaram' (U) is that almost all characters that stomp the screen in the early stages of the film are natural and down-to-earth. So natural that it's like watching real life unfold! And hero Vishal comes across as a typical son of the soil. The earnestness and joy with which he listens to the villagers render folk songs, is an example.
Writer-director Karu. Pazhaniappan's hiatus has been enigmatically long, especially when his debut venture, `Parthiban Kanavu' was a hit.
Satyamurthy (Vishal) comes to the village to assist Ilango (Raghuvaran), a retired professor, in his ambitious project of collecting folk songs and compiling them into a book. Hell breaks loose when their real purpose comes to light.
Vishal's essay of emotions is neat and just right. It is his Tamil pronunciation that needs honing. Mamta (from the Kerala scene) plays Ilango's daughter, who is besotted with the hero. With little to do and lots to dream about, she fills the bill. Once again it's an apt, dignified depiction from Raghuvaran. `Kanja' Karuppu's voice modulation and diction are enjoyable. No wonder they are taking him places. The first song (a kind of rural item number) is rather crude. Why did the filmmaker need it at all?
Vishal swoops down on his victim in full public view, pulls out his knife in the most unsubtle manner, thrusts it into the vulnerable guy's chest, and moves on. Not one notices him let alone trying to catch him in the act! The unnaturalness paves the way for unintended humour. The blot in the storyline is that even a straightforward professor like Ilango does not think of the future of his student who indulges in crime. He advises him to bide his time, but doesn't once tell him that murder for revenge (though lofty ideals are espoused) is never going to offer a permanent solution.
For the connoisseur
Pazhaniappan's dialogue is poignant and profound throughout. And aesthetics marks Gopinath's filming of the countryside. Imaginative top angle shots add to the visual lure. So does the climax.
The antique furniture and the old world ambience as a whole bear the stamp of Rajeevan's art skills. Bharatidasan's verses have been inspiringly used.
An absolutely mesmerising melody (as scintillating as MSV's yesteryear duets) from Vidyasagar is `Chithiraiyil Enna Varum.' Great work! Another piece that will live on is `Attrai Thingal ... ' (typically Vidya). Appealing music, attractive lighting, captivating backdrops and pleasing colour schemes are a connoisseur's delight in the song sequence.
Vishal is riding the crest of a wave at the box office, and `Sivappadhikaaram' should be another boost. Generally, our films dart across through the first half and sag towards the end. But `Siva ... ' begins on a soft, benign note and blazes away to the climax at breakneck speed.
With a particle of `Ramana,' a pinch of `Indian' and a rash of movies in the vendetta-action genre, Pazhaniappan's story is not entirely new. But his approach to storytelling is. Obvious irrationalities there are, but `Sivappadhikaaram' stands out for the entertainment it provides and the thought process it instils.
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