Sangu Chakkaram: Bad VFX, lack of scare-inducing moments and a coercive storyline fail to impress
Movie Review by Annie Cynthia (Rocheston Certified Movie Critic)
What do you expect from a horror film? Scares, screams and quivers, right? But frightening the audience is not what director Maarison has intended to do in his debut flick, Sangu Chakkaram. The children-centric film is said to be its first-of-its-kind satirical horror fantasy. But is it worth your while? The story is intended to be a mix of horror, comedy and some action – but it ends up not being good at anything. There are scenes where kids bombard ghosts with logical questions and the ghost share their sentiments about how humans are deceiving and selfish that stand out but hardly have the potential to hold the film together.
A haunted mansion becomes a playground for a bunch of kids, who are the lead characters of the movie. A sequence of events follows after they enter the mansion – thugs hatching a plan to kidnap the kids, an infamous politician who has purchased the mansion, hires witch doctors to ward off the ghosts and an estranged uncle of one of the kids is determined to murder the boy to inherit the family money. A good-hearted policeman disguised among the thugs saves the day along with a few witch doctors and ghosts.
Humor in the movie is forced in most places. The film tries to use rhyming dialogues and quirky body languages of characters to draw laughs but it becomes extremely tacky. Newcomer Dilip Subburaiyan is overbearing to watch. His attempted comedy is induced and has nothing new to offer. Sinish, who became famous post Pasanga 2, is seen in pivotal role. He is a curious and witty boy brimming with questions. We are introduced to a new villain, N.Raja, who has also done the vfx for the movie. Sadly though, his performance is hardly anything to write home about. Even when he is dead serious or intends to scare, he sounds hilarious. One really can’t take him seriously enough!
The striking part of the film is a musical exorcism scene performed by US based martial artist Jeremy Roske, who teaches an Afro-Brazilian art form, Capoeira. He has played a witch doctor in the film and the scene is awe-worthy. Towards the climax, traditional Tamil musical instruments like ‘Udukkai’, ‘Melam’ and ‘Conch’ are played as part of the exorcism and those are purely goosebump-inducing moments for the audience.
The VFX in the ghost sequences fail to impress. You can actually make out that all the ghosts are not real.
The story isn’t streamlined and slumps towards the second half. And the editing is so poor that it is evident that multiple sequences are just clubbed together in a single frame without any continuity.
Despite having popular cinematographer V.S Rajkumar and accolade winning music director, Shabir onboard, the film remains barely watchable. They can’t do much to save the sinking ship.