Remo review: A jaded collage of past films like Mrs Doubtfire, Avvai Shanmughi
Director: Bakkiyaraj Kannan
Cast: Sivakarthikeyan, Keerthy Suresh, Satish
In recent weeks, Tamil cinema has been losing its sense of originality -- which it has been lauded for in the past. Bakkiyaraj Kannan’s Remo with actors Sivakarthikeyan and Keerthy Suresh has liberally lifted its core idea from works like the 1982 Tootsie, the 1993 Mrs Doubtfire and the 1996 Avvai Shanmughi among others. At over two hours, Remo to me seemed like a collage of sorts, a poorly assembled one at that.
Sivakarthikeyan’s SK or Regina Motwani or Remo is dying to be an actor, but with zero skills, and on one occasion when he dresses up like a female nurse for an audition he meets a doctor, Kavya (Keerthy Suresh), on a bus. When he tells her his sob story, she offers him a job as a nurse in her hospital. Never mind that this pretender has no qualification to be a caregiver, and goes about the hospital without the vaguest clue about even how to administer an injection. But he is good at clowning, and the children there love him -- especially a little girl who is seriously ill (Cheeni Kum?).
However, nursing is not what Remo is keen on. Not even a job. What he is interested in is Kavya -- who is engaged to be married to a doctor from Pune. And he is boorish and a control freak -- and Kavya is not even in love with him, her parents are. And the rest of the film is all about pretences and prejudices with a moral question thrown in. Does our man Remo have the right to wean a woman away from her fiance? Remo argues that Kavya is NOT married to the guy, and hence has every right to walk out of the arrangement. Also, the director rubs into us that this fiance is no-good, and hence -- one should presume -- the lady has the right to ditch the man a day before the marriage. Would the story have been different if the fiance had been a good man?
If Remo has a decent theatrical run, it is not going to be because of its plot (which is jaded and ancient). It will be for its exemplary performances. Keerthy, whom we last saw as a touch-up girl for an actress in the Dhanush-starrer, Thodari, is fantastic, conveying a whole gamut of emotions -- guilt, anger, confusion and a sense of utter hopelessness. (”It is difficult to control a woman, but easy to confuse her”, quips Remo with the typical male arrogance seen in Tamil cinema.) She makes an intelligent use of her face to worm her way into the audience heart. Sivakarthikeyan is not far behind -- looking divinely beautiful as the nurse, walking along the hospital wards with a seductive sway. But then he often reminded me of Kamal Hassan’s Shanmughi. And like the veteran star, Sivakarthikeyan also turns into a he-man in the end -- a scene that is totally, totally out of place. Time Tamil cinema gave us mortals, not invincible iron-men pounding dozens of opponents into pulp.
Watch Remo’s trailer here: