Friday, 21 September 2018

Saamy Square: Neither Police Nor Porukki

From ‘Police illa porukki‘ to ‘Saamy illa boodham‘ is the kind of transformation this Vikram-starrer cop-movie franchise Saamy has undergone between the first instalment and its sequel. To keep up with the trend, filmmaker Hari, with his own rules and logic, has worked out Saamy Square which resumes from the very moment the first movie ended and proceeds to the future.

Vikram, who usually takes up challenging roles and experimental scripts, has gone into hiding for an agnyaathavaasam like the protagonist Ram Saamy, son of Aarusaamy, does in this movie. Hari, metaphorically, has set the plot in Ramayana pattern as Ram Saamy takes up Raavana Pichai and his brothers who are all sons of Perumal Pichai, from the first part.

The metaphors are rooted in the script as Ram returns to Tirunelveli after 28 years of his vanavaasam amidst the concrete jungle of New Delhi (That wasn't the actual figurative context, but I am just convincing myself with this subtext for sacrificing 5 am sleep and 150 Rupees). Despite this, the movie, unlike Saamy, lacks basic sensibility and substance. There were ‘police-police’ moments for Aarusaamy – a balance between realism and commercialism. But his son is totally on an uncontrolled chain reaction and turns out to be in a complete pack of sequences.

There is a scene where Ram Saamy is wished on his birthday during a parade of police officials. ‘All of you, say your wishes,’ says a higher official reminding one of a school prayer assembly. Seriously? Indeed, it was Soori’s comical track that was serious, while the mainstream actually was funny.

We don't even feel the Hari-factor anywhere. The writer who wields the first half well to establish the lifestyle of the protagonist, the universe of his plot, its characteristics and the conflict, here misses it totally.

When the entire pack of spectators is prepared to watch what Aarusaamy left halfway -- the movie apparently starts with a montage of moments from Saamy-I -- Hari lets us down with a very slow duet number, 'Molagaa Podi' which is not even close to 'Tirunelveli Alwaadaa'. From there, every next scene of this sequel flounders. After a point in the screenplay are pushed to devour a scene instantly after we could even perceive something that just gone by.

And, for Vikram, there should have been minimum space for bringing out his emotions. In Saamy, he had a strong family drama along with the main plot; but here, the sentiments have not got formulated right and leave the protagonist in scenarios of just hunting for the Pichais. Having given cramped space for personal emotions, Keerthy Suresh, who plays Vikram’s lady love is allowed to share it alone. Her presence in the film could not even be felt at times.

As a director, Hari, who showcased the pride of Tamilnadu police in Saamy and Singam Trilogy, stumbles with this. He has tried to maintain the moods of the franchise, but that does not seem to be enough for a Tamil cop tale.

Hari, in the mid-credits, says ‘Saamyin Vettai Thodarum‘ giving an inkling for a threequel. However, the pay-off this one gives could be a barrier unless Hari evolves ‘Saamy Cube‘ lucidly. Before that, let him attach an HD copy of Saamy Square and mail it to the President of India and let's see what happens, subsequently.

- Santhosh Mathevan,
Chennai, September 21, 2018.

A part or complete version of this review by Santhosh Mathevan has appeared in This viewer's note is completely based on the perceptions of Santhosh Mathevan alone. This does not reflect the views of two or more people or a community. Queries and criticism shall be addressed to the writer only.