Singam 3: Unconvincing Heroism in a Predictable Plot
Movie Review by Trijai Nerthi (Rocheston Certified Movie Critic)
There was a time when director Hari’s formulaic mass spectacles brought people to the theatres in droves. Audiences were willing to put aside the ridiculousness of things like flying TATA Sumos just so that they could root for heroes whose punchlines were tied to racy screenplays. But ever since Hari decided to make a franchise out of every idea that had previously worked, his invincible Sumo seems to have driven over the edge, as is the case with Singam 3 (Si 3).
As the over-the-top titling fades away, Durai Singam (Surya) is introduced to us as the lion of the Indian police force. Pretty soon, Durai Singam takes control of law and order in Vizag to tackle the rising corruption that led to the murder of the police commissioner. On the surface, this story, the presumed to be majestic presentation, is supposed to induce goosebumps in the viewer. What it does instead is drive people into fits of laughter with its random screenplay, overuse of metaphoric dialogues and deflective songs.
Simply put, Singam 3 is a bad compilation of all of director Hari’s films thus far. While the editing is jarringly racy, it fails because the screenplay lags behind. In most scenes, the cuts are too fast to apprehend. Fast moving shots of an Australian villain and a roaring police officer do not make the film fast unless the incessant editing is backed up by an air-tight screenplay.
As the film abruptly switches from vulgar comedy to songs that are unrelated, the story is just not serious enough to engage audiences. How is one to believe that the characters in the film genuinely care for their female counterparts, when every protective remark is followed by fat shaming and slut shaming comedy?
For every reference, there is a flashback; for every earnest punchline, there is a vulgar comedy track that contradicts it. With so many obvious contradictions in the plot, one wonders how the director thought he could justify the unwarranted heroism, something that anyway ends up being predictable.
There is no doubting Surya’s abilities as an actor. In fact, there was a time when he was believed to be the next big thing. While he brings undeterred dedication to any script he works on, he lacks the decisiveness to filter movies and roles that do more damage than good to his already fading repertoire. Will all the dedication in this world matter if it comes without proper reasoning? I think not.
The villain, Vittal (Thakur Anoop Singh), is of the quintessential evil foreigner type. He travels in a customized luxury container even when he is on the run, he is clearly anti-national, and most importantly, he rips his shirt off during the film’s climax just to show us that he is a worthy contender to the indestructible Durai Singam. The problem is, Vittal never manages to intimidate. Threatening phone conversations and a bulky body no longer threaten people, especially when there is a blatant lack of intelligence on display.
Shruti Haasan’s performance as Vidya/Agni comes across as plastered and fake. Everytime she is in awe of Durai Singam, it seems as if she’s part of a parody rather than actually emoting devotion. Her mindless glamour and proclaimed innocence is annoying. Anushka has very little to do in the film, but whatever little she does do fails to leave an impression.
From showcasing the murder of thirty two children to underlining the alarming state of our dumping grounds, Singam 3 goes to great lengths to get its audience invested. However, the use of one too many social issues only ends up looking like the self-pitying antics of a loosely held plot.
Harris Jayaraj’s music is uninteresting and boringly familiar while Priyan’s cinematography is conventional. The aerial shots and jump cuts are repetitive, especially after the film’s two prequels that look and feel the exact same.
Singam 3 could have been far more engaging if director Hari paid greater attention to making the screenplay fast paced. Doing away with songs every fifteen minutes, clichéd twists and vulgar comedy would have almost certainly drawn more people to the theatres.
On the whole, Singam 3 comes across as a disappointing parody of all of Hari’s previous films, made worse by loosely tied screenplay and unconvincing heroism.