Tamil Reviews

Silukkuvarpatti Singam Review: A Comic Caper That Works Despite The Occasional Cringey Joke

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Director: Chella

Cast: Vishnu Vishal, Regina Cassandra, Oviya, Yogi Babu, Anandraj

Composer: Leon James

In Silukkuvarpatti Singam Regina Cassandra plays Raji, a school teacher who zips around her little town in a scooter. She’s strong, funny, knows her own mind and doesn’t let “Indian” culture stop her from having what she wants. This in a film that would usually be described as a “village subject”. This is not just an exaggeration for cinema. Tamil Nadu is perhaps the only state in India where women go about their work on scooters and bikes, and more women are visible in public, running businesses or managing shops and offices. And so Raji.

In contrast to Raji, who is prepared to face up to her father to marry the man she loves, is the man she loves. Vishnu Vishal as Sathyamoorthi a.k.a Satthi. A lowly police constable in a small town, he would rather avoid a conflict, prefers to run and hide when fights do break out, and is happy to run errands for his senior officers. Not for him the uplifted chin and squared chest. The only thing that can rouse his passions, is the well-made fried egg – aafbaailed in Tamil. Understandable, and very very relate-able. I love my eggs too and would gladly fight any human being that dares deprive me of what is rightfully mine.

Sai Ravi plays Cycle Shankar. When we first hear of Cycle Shankar, an assistant commissioner of police in Chennai is talking to his superior officer, and says the only way to deal with Shankar is to shoot him at sight. You see, Cycle Shankar is a notorious criminal. And so the police plan an encounter killing. But the next instant Shankar walks up to the very car carrying the assistant commissioner, shoots him in the face and escapes, even as CCTV cameras record the entire incident.

Cycle Shankar is hired by an evil-corrupt minister to kill an ex-minister – Nilakottai Narayanan played by Mansoor Ali Khan – who is collecting evidence against the current-corrupt minister. And so Cycle Shankar arrives at Silukkuvarpatti.

Meanwhile there’s Share-Auto Chandran, played by Anand Raj. Then there’s Tony – a cousin of Cycle Shankar, played by Yogi Babu. And there is the sub inspector of Silukkuvarpatti, a newly hired constable Bhaskar, and a few other people.

In short, everything you need for a nice little mix up, some comic moments, a nearly-caper, and a lovely little ending.

*****

Silukkuvarpatti Singam is written and directed by Chella Ayyavu, and produced by Vishnu Vishal’s Vishnu Vishal Studioz. The film stars Vishnu Vishal, Regina Cassandra, Yogi Babu, Sai Ravi, Mansoor Ali Khan, Vadivukkarasi, Karunakaran, Livingston, and others, with a guest appearance by Oviya of the Army fame. The film features music by Leon James.

*****

There have been some comic films in Tamil that put police men and evil murderers together into a plot. Bhagyaraj’s Avasara Police 100 comes to mind (especially since the film played on a television channel recently). In fact Satthi seems a lot like Veerasamy. Good-hearted coward who’d rather flee than fight. In a Tamil cinema landscape that has largely treated its policemen as men of gravity, this is good and funny. Yes, Satthi wins the conflict but that’s less out of any act of bravery and more out of pure chance.

Comic films are also excused for the writer and director to slip in loads of cringe worthy jokes and misogyny (I am looking at you Hara Hara Mahadevaki and Iruttu Arayil Muratu Kuththu). Thankfully, there is very little of that here.

Yes, there are a couple of scenes of toilet humour – literally, but thankfully they are not as funny as some of the other elaborate scenes and therefore easily forgiven.

But that’s not to say the film is a laugh riot. That’s probably not the intention even. But Silukkuvarpatti Singam is a light-hearted film that entertains, and manages to give us a young woman heroine who is as normal as the many women of Tamil Nadu’s small towns.

*****

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

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