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Remo Review: Stalking Is Glorified & Nothing Cute Happens

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A hero (Sivakarthikeyan) who purposely fails high school and falls in love with a doctor (Keerthy Suresh)’s pretty face. She’s engaged, and has no idea he exists. No problem. He stalks her, gets a job as a female nurse in her hospital, and wins her trust with some well-chosen lies. Love blooms. The end.

This is Remo, more memorable as an exercise in marketing than a movie. Director Bakkiyaraj Kannan has something for everyone. But most of all, for Sivakarthikeyan’s male fanbase.

*****

There’s the mandatory Ajith, Vijay, and Rajini references, which have the audience cheering with delight. Kids appear here and there, and look adorable. (It’s a nod to Sivakarthieyan’s status as children’s favorite hero these days.) Saranya Ponvannan shows up as the mother, a role she has done so often, and in such similar fashion, that she needs no script. In fact, even she isn’t needed. Clips from her previous films would have done the job.

There’s also the elaborate proposal scene: with fireworks, balloons, and a street lit up with serial lights. A suit-clad Sivakarthikeyan tries to pull off a Madhavan. The young women in the audience gawk.

But a major chunk of the film is directed at Sivakarthikeyan’s biggest audience – the young men. What do they want? Supposedly female bashing, manipulating women, and lots of stalking. And there’s plenty of that.

*****

SK (Sivakarthikeyan) is a small-time actor who deliberately fails his Std. 10 exams. Why? Because even though he’s good at studies, he fears that a high school degree would hinder his dreams of becoming an actor.

After suitably handling his worries about being too overqualified, he then has the mandatory ‘love at first sight’ experience. The same one that typically transforms the hero into the hero-stalker. In Remo, SK begins to stalk Dr. Kavya (Keerthy Suresh).

He finds out that she is already engaged. But why should that be a hindrance? After all, Kavya doesn’t even know of SK’s existence, and that’s not a hindrance. As SK says, “She is only engaged, not married, right?”

His next task is to find a novel way to make her see who he truly is, so she can fall in love with him. Call it manipulation, call it the ways of love. SK decides to cross-dress as a female nurse, and lands a job at Kavya’s hospital.

He’s not too overqualified for that either.

*****

Whether she likes you or hates you, follow the woman wherever she goes, annoy her excessively, and someday, she will be yours. Films like Mouna Ragam, Alaipayuthey, and, more recently, the much loved Premam, use this formula, albeit with enough sugar-coating that it’s overlooked as ‘cute’.

In Remo though, the protagonist is unapologetic. He’s all for creating opportunities, just not in the normal sense of studying hard and getting a job. He says, “Ordinary guys like me do not get opportunities, so we have to create them for ourselves.”

By that he means, manipulating the good doctor’s feelings. Creating scenarios that will change her feelings about arranged marriages. Telling her it’s the route that ‘ugly’ women take.

All this eventually makes her fall in love with him.

Kavya’s fiancé is portrayed as domineering and controlling. He even boasts about how he chose her because she’s better looking than his ex-girlfriend. This is probably done to lessen the pain of having to watch her end up with SK instead. But then SK says, “Everything in the world today is adulterated, only the hearts of men like me stay pure.”

And we die a little more.

*****

With all this, Remo could have worked if SK and Kavya had enjoyable, compelling chemistry. But, when Kavya asks SK why he fell in love with her, he says that her eyes, smile, and the mole on her neck drew him towards her.

That’s love.

The comedy relies on SK’s cross-dressing. He deceives everyone, including his own mother, with his makeup and costumes. In one scene, SK as ‘Remo’ is so attractive that even his best friend wants to hug him. He also gets his share of stalking (all pretty girls have a fundamental right to this of course) from Yogi Babu.

*****

Despite Sivakarthikeyan’s immense popularity with the audience, and great names like PC Sreeram and Resul Pookutty on paper, Remo has very little going for it. All this worthy talent tries to jazz up a film that doesn’t need them. PC Sreeram’s frames are colourful, glossy, and a smart way of trying to sell something that is simply not worth it.

With a film like Remo, the audience knows that brains and sensibilities need to be left behind at home. But it takes a lot more than that to scrape this empty and misogynistic barrel for any kernels of enjoyment.

 *****

The Remo review is a Silverscreen original article. It was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the movie. Silverscreen.in and its writers do not have any commercial relationship with movies that are reviewed on the site.

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