Tamil Reviews

Sindhubaadh Review: An Average Thriller-Drama With A Well-Worn Premise

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Director: S U Arun Kumar

Cast: Vijay Sethupathi, Anjali, Surya Sethupathi

In Sindhubaadh, Vijay Sethupathi is saviour, not sailor, and his adventures involve petty theft at first, and later morph into full-blown heroics, some theatrics, to even ‘marrying’ his unsuspecting girlfriend. Sethupathi as Thiru plants a decoy elsewhere to distract Venba (Anjali) as he, in true Tamil cinema style that is best forgotten, brandishes a yellow thread at her. Never mind that Venba, who is ironically known for the ‘loud’ tone of her voice until then – a character quirk that we’d assumed to be cleverly manipulated to counter socially-approved behaviour – is struck dumb at the sight. Neither is it silent outrage, nor a mute appeal against the act. It’s shock, we come to know. A pleasant one at that.

During another scene in the latter half of Sindhubaadh, Sethupathi stares at a bunch of goons screaming murder at him; a blink of an eye later, they…disappear. They could have vanished into thin air for all we care but we do know by now that Thiru aka Sindhubaadh according to his illegally-obtained passport anyway (the link to title as tenuous, yeah) is a man of muscle. Director S U Arun Kumar, whose Pannaiyarum Padminiyum admirably made one empathise with an elderly couple’s love for their car, seems to cast about wildly for ideas in Sindhubaadh.

There’s Vijay Sethupathi, who has headlined three films for the director, in a role that presents him as the traditional male lead, just skipping along to the beat. In a scene, he responds to a call for help because a woman calls him brother – it’s so unlike Sethupathi to react to such conventions with the usual fervour that can be associated with any other male lead. Anyone really, other than him. The Sethupathi we know would respond with a quip, which he does aplenty elsewhere in the movie – thank God for small mercies – and do just about anything than melt into a puddle and try to reinforce fraternal kinship with a woman he’d just met. It’s not him. But that’s the trouble with Sindhubaadh. The writing is too serious for its own good, especially in the parts where it matters, and hardly enables Sethupathi to do much else.

Vijay Sethupathi and son Surya Sethupathi are Thiru and Super, a duo that makes a living out of petty crimes. Their lives are rent apart – at first, pleasurably – when Venba makes an entrance. Venba’s voice seem to be a perfect match for Thiru who, it appears, is hard of hearing. Their worlds collide, and soon, Thiru is caught in a web of debt, deceit, crimes several times bigger than his own – and god forbid, love. It’s that which brings the script down.

Sindhubaadh wants to build a thrilling maze alright, and follow it up with a race against time just as interesting. But its maze is transparent crystal, the games an odd fusion of medieval and futuristic, and the anchor so very regular, with no penchant for leopard-printed clothing.

*****

The Sindhubaadh 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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