Semma Botha Aagathey
Semma Botha Aagathey: This Dull & Shoddy Thriller Packs In A Few Good Laughs
Movie Review by Trijai Nerthi (Rocheston Certified Movie Critic)
Directed by Badri Venkatesh, Semma Botha Aagathey is a comedy-thriller that has Atharva Murali, Karunakaran and Mishti Chakraborty playing lead roles. By first impression, the title of the film itself draws limitations on the film’s target audience. It reminds one of “Iruttu Arayil Murattu Kuththu” and has you expecting below-the-belt comedy that falls along the same line. Thankfully, Semma Botha Aagathey is better than Iruttu Arayil Murattu Kuththu. For a while, it takes itself seriously enough and poses itself as a thriller. Unfortunately, the unclear writing, shoddy execution and disappointing performances drag the film down leaving it no chances at redemption.
On one particularly crazy night, a hammered Ramesh (Atharva Murali) accepts his friend Nandu’s (Karunakaran) suggestion to invite a call girl to their apartment to help him get over his break-up with Madhu (Mishti Chakraborty). Pretty soon, a call girl by the name Meenu (Anaika Soti) shows up and is out to seduce him. But Ramesh is forced to excuse himself when he is called on to take his neighbor to the hospital. When he returns, he finds Meenu dead in his apartment. The consequences of being pulled into this mysterious murder and his efforts to trace the real killer forms the crux of the story.
Stories that attempt to merge genres like Semma Botha Aagathey, require meticulous planning. The proceedings in the film appear chaotic, but to make this chaos look organic, funny and memorable skillful execution is mandatory. Sadly, though this film tries to merge comedy with thriller, it fails because it never wholeheartedly fulfills the requirement of either of these genres.
Karunakaran’s comedy is refreshing and his one-liners work well at first. But as time goes on and a few other actors like Manobala get tossed into the equation, the comedy begins to get repetitive. For instance, the scenes involving a dead body and Nandu are incredibly funny. But as the second half approaches, the jokes begin to go stale.
Even as a thriller, Semma Botha Aagathey feels inconsistent. The film’s begins with an item number, it starts to get serious and right when the plot is ready to take off, a flashback arrives and ruins the pace of the film.
Furthermore, there are many logical loopholes in the film. There is no solid reasoning behind why Ramesh leaves to Palakkad. When the villains meet him, they immediately start narrating their flashback to him, there is no explanation as to why this approach to storytelling was used either. Even the portions involving Ramesh and his girlfriend Madhu are completely disconnected from the plot. They appear unnecessary to this story.
A film that had similar elements but managed to succeed is Kamal Haasan’s Panchathanthiram. It was as enthralling a thriller as it was funny. Moreover, it left the audience wanting for more. The characters too were written in an interesting manner. This spotless execution technique is what Semma Botha Aagathey has failed to master. All the proceedings in the film appear artificial rather than adapting to an organic flow. From the long stunt sequences to the never-ending climax, the film never knows to stop when it’s ahead. After a point, unbelievably long sequences begin to test your patience.
As Ramesh, Atharva has tried to give his best, but his image as a mass hero needs much more credibility for it to appear convincing. Karunakaran is at his best. From witty comebacks to funny one-liners, he gives the script it’s much needed time in the sun. Anaika Soti appears briefly and performs averagely. Mishti Chakraborty’s performance is way below par. Her acting is incredibly artificial and her lip sync is off the mark, throughout the film. Though Yogi Babu is good, the fact that someone else has dubbed for him makes his role appear put on. John Vijay’s role in the film is unclear and whatever little scenes M.S Bhaskar has, he manages to shine.
Yuvan Shankar Raja’s songs are shockingly average. None of the tracks from the film stick with you. His background scores almost make up for the disappointing songs.
The film’s visual storytelling needs improvement. Even though the film appears to be made on a string budget, it shouldn’t be this obvious to the audiences. Cinematographer Gopi Amarnath could’ve tried out a much more innovative approach.
On the whole, Semma Botha Aagathey is slightly funny but mostly directionless. If Panchathanthiram was a person, it would be saying ‘Tsk, tsk, tsk’ after watching this tiresome tale.