Sathriyan: Unbearably Long and Insufferably Boring
Movie Review by Trijai Nerthi (Rocheston Certified Movie Critic)
If anybody told you Lingusamy’s Anandham was actually a gangster drama film in disguise would you believe it? Well, an equally unbelievable and dull story is what director S.R.Prabhakaran tries to pass off as an action drama film. In Sathriyan, there is very little action and almost no scope for drama either. All it really is, is a two and half hour dialogue heavy film driven by Zen-like characters who will never get to the action even if it stared them in the face.
Trichy’s gang leader, Samudhiram is killed by Malabar Shankar (Aruldoss) and his group of gangsters in hopes of taking over the city. Soon, news of his death spreads like wildfire and this starts a silent war between the two deadly gangs. In the midst of all this chaos, Guna (Vikram Prabhu) a gang member of the deceased Samudhiram falls madly in love with his daughter Niranjana (Manjima Mohan) and this provokes immense tension in the already heated war.
From the first scene to the last, Sathriyan is completely devoid of tension and engagement. Every little scene in the film tests your patience with unnecessarily long dialogues and clichéd plot twists. By the time you get to the interval, you will already find yourself worn out by the film’s preachy approach to everything.
For a film that tends to test your patience with every passing second, Sathriyan seems to lack the patience to even establish its plot properly. In one scene, Niranjana tries to convince Guna to stop rowdyism. Ideally, her efforts to change him should’ve been showcased as a gradual process. Instead, she changes him through a fifteen minute long monologue that is so dull, it makes you want to cry.
Even if you get past the slow, boring and lengthy dialogues, the film is so full of; you will never really perceive Sathriyan’s characters to be gangsters. They talk boastfully, they talk threateningly and then they talk some more but not even for a second do any of them ever walk the talk. You will see them wielding knives, but none of the action is convincing enough for them to even be passed off as fictional gangsters. This is the kind of action you would expect from a kid-friendly film like Toy Story.
As Guna, Vikram Prabhu’s performance falls as flat as a pancake. From the beginning he claims to be a gangster but there isn’t even one scene to support this claim. His eyes and body language lack the fierceness his character demands and a lack of aggressiveness can be observed during the action sequences. The rest of the casting is perfect but the actors fail to deliver engrossing performances due to the director’s unbearably dull writing.
Cinematographer Sivakumar Vijayan’s visuals lack a certain spark. His close-ups never hold good in the fictional situations constructed by the director and most of the wide-angled shots in the film seem to be misplaced. There is also one too many aerial shots that have been placed just to go in line with the current trend.
Yuvan Shankar Raja’s background music is incorrectly positioned in some places. In an eve teasing scene, you can sense the presence of pleasant music. Similarly, in heroic scenes, the villain’s entry is assigned a heroic background score. You don’t expect such amateur mishaps from a professional like him.
On the whole, Sathriyan promises terror but delivers a lifetime supply of boredom. It is safe to say that sitting through this film will be one strenuous affair.