Cast: Santhanam, Ashna Zaveri, Akhila Kishore, Thambi Ramaiah
Muruganand's directorial venture, Inimey Ippadithan (Hereafter, This Way), with Santhanam in the lead did evoke a lot of expectation. The film was to be the actor's second work as a hero, the first being the 2014 Vallavanukku Pullum Aayudham. One had hoped that Santhanam -- after years of essaying the funnyman, often as the lead star's sidekick -- would strip himself of his comic costume. This certainly did not happen in Vallavanukku Pullum Aayudham -- where he was certainly testing the waters in a role which was not quite that of a hero, not quite that of a humourist either.
Unfortunately, even in Inimey Ippadithan, Santhanam appears wary of letting go his traditional trademark mannerisms, including the way he lisps his dialogues. He hesitates to step out of the comic, with the result that he is neither here nor there.Undoubtedly, Santhanam is a very good actor, and his dashing debonair looks can give a complex to many of those who play the lead in Tamil cinema. Probably, all he needs is a good story, an innovative script and a bit of courage to get him flying in his new avatar.
In all fairness to Santhanam, it must be admitted that Inimey Ippadithan has a poor plot, which can do little justice to any actor, however talented he be. When an astrologer warns the parents of Cheenu (Santhanam) that if he does not get married within three months, he might, well, never tie the knot, the desperate bid to find him a wife leads to hilarity and drama. While Cheenu woos Maha (Ashna Zaveri), his folks push him into an engagement with Akhila (Akhila Kishore).
Ridden with far too many cliches and done-to-death scenes, the movie slips into a hotchpotch of theatrics, songs, dances and juvenile antics. A weak script does not help either a story which has little meat.
While it may be a tad too early to dismiss Santhanam as the new hero on the block, he must choose his next film with greater care.