Seemaraja: A quintessential hero-worshipping film that is lead astray by a shoddy screenplay
Movie Review by Trijai Nerthi (Rocheston Certified Movie Critic)
At a time when a platform like Netflix is brewing exciting Indian visual content by the day, does one really need just another mass-hero film? To be honest, a mass-flavored hero film every now and then with a little more imagination couldn’t hurt. But what is the point of such a film if it is only going to repeat itself time and again? This is Seemaaja’s problem. This Siva Karthikeyan starrer is no different than a Mersal, Singam or Villu. After having sat through Seemaraja, the one thought that immediately occupies my mind is, why do we need more of the same when Tamil cinema and its audiences are clearly aching for so much more.
The film takes us through the journey of Seemaraja (Sivakarthikeyan), heir to the royal family of Singampatti. He roams about the village along with his sidekick Kanakku without a purpose. Soon he sets his eyes on Suthanthira Selvi (Samantha), a teacher hailing from their rival village, Puliyampatti. Here on, the film constantly shifts gears to take us through village disputes, land grabbing, an overlong period flashback. Whether or not Seemaraja sheds his mischievous attitude to save the fate of his village forms the crux of the story.
Seemaraja is the third film the Ponram-Sivakarthikeyan duo has done together. Their first film Varuthapadatha Valibar Sangam is a comedy that was welcomed quite enthusiastically by the audience. Their second outing Rajini Murugan received a mediocre response. Now, it is sad to note that their third film together lacks the tact, entertainment, and focus of the first one. Even though Varuthapadatha Valibar Sangam had the tonalities of a usual mass entertainer, its comical twist was quite refreshing. But Seemaraja is merely recycled entertainment. Without the presence of a strong script, the film drags its character with it to the depths of the doomed mass cinema alley. An alley that is filled with many such aimless predecessors like Villu, Singam 2, Sketch and many more.
One of the primary reasons why you will find the film disappointing is the shoddy and hasty writing. Director Ponram is not armed with a clear and impressive script or screenplay. In fact, his character development is a major let down too. If you look close enough, you will find many continuity errors too. One can’t help but wonder why a director whose already helmed two films is yet to understands the basic demands of screenwriting.
The film starts off with a story of the dispute between two neighboring villages. Then, it slowly shifts its focus to the Seemaraja- Suthanthira romantical portions before moving on to a preachy track on land grabbing and the issues faced by Tamil farmers. Finally, it takes you to a period flashback that further shifts focus to many other unnecessary plot elements. Why start so many story tracks if the director cannot see even one of them through fulfilling completion?
What’s most disappointing is the film’s formulaic approach to the story. As any, another mass film, this one too has a hero with a god complex, a sidekick who builds the hero up, a heroine whose only purpose is to fall in love and a weak villain who the hero will ultimately defeat to save the day. What is so different about this formula? In fact, even if Seemaraja followed in the footsteps of Kadaikutty Singam, it would’ve been more successful. In Kadaikutty Singam too, Karthi falls in love with a woman associated with the villain. Even though the film was predictable, it had clarity. But Seemaraja is so confused that it tries to be a bit of everything and fails miserably at its efforts.
As Seemaraja, Siva Karthikeyan seems to have put in a lot of efforts in his appearance. His dancing skills and stunt sequences seem to have received an upgrade too. Sadly though, you are yet to see an improvement in his acting skills. His character hardly presents him with a scope for acting. Samantha barely has anything significant to do in the film. She plays the role of a typical mass heroine whose only purpose is to be wooed by the hero. Soori’s comedy falls flat in most places and Napoleon lacks the screen presence of Raj Kiran and Sathyaraj who were a part of the director’s previous films. As Kaleshwari, Simran delivers a substandard performance. However, this is due to her weak and one-dimensional character development.
Music director D.Imman’s songs are increasingly repetitive. They lack freshness and sound like most of his previous albums. Furthermore, the placement of these songs slows down the already lagging screenplay.
The VFX in the period portions are good but they are completely unwarranted. The story could’ve done without the grandeur of the period drama and it would make no difference to the story.
On the whole, Seemaraja is a film that is simply all over the place. By leaving many story tracks incomplete and executing it with a weak script, the film leaves you disappointed.