Seema Raja movie review: This Sivakarthikeyan movie is a colourless comedy
Cast: Sivakarthikeyan, Samantha Akkineni, Simran, Lal, Napoleon, Soori
Seema Raja falls in that rare category – a film so bad that it is good. The Sivakarthikeyan film is a victim to its own ambition – it could have been a perfectly good comedy but by mistiming the jokes and adding action to it, director Ponram makes it an unappetising mish-mash. Alauddin Khilji makes an appearance and the spotlight is shared by Baahubali like settings and Soori’s six-pack abs; bewilderment follows, of course.
Seema Raja ends up trivializing even the serious moments due to its compulsive need to entertain audience at all times. The premise of the film, the kings and queens of 21st century, is lost in translation. It is hard for the audience to take Sivakarthikeyan as a modern-day king seriously when director himself cannot sell the idea. The switch from our hero being a millennial craving social media attention to a king who loves his land and people is hard to digest.
Ponram’s previous films with Sivakarthikeyan, such as Varuthapadathey Valibar Sangam and Rajini Murugan, were entertaining purely because of their humour. The very same humour becomes a stumbling block in Seema Raja because the director fails to segue the two very different plots satisfactorily.
For instance, we see there is animosity between Puliampatti people and Singampatti people in Seema Raja, a thread if explored further could have added depth to the film, instead what we get is Alauddin Khilji travelling down south from Delhi to cheat a king!
The time spent on this part of the film, and the effort, is clearly visible. On its own, the story of the Pandian king Kadambavel Raja has merit too. The problem is when this part is reduced to being a crutch of sorts to Seema Raja’s success. A hilarious back story would have been more in tune with the mood of the film.
Seema Raja serves one purpose though – it takes Sivakarthikeyan’s career arc forward. The actor has already proved that he can do comedy, romance and action and now he proves that he is ready for the next level of stardom. Seema Raja, in that sense, helps Siva play a number of roles as the leading man. The film is not so accommodating to its leading lady, Samantha Akkineni. Her character, Suthanthira Selvi, is a Silambam teacher who can handle any tough situation with aplomb. It is quite a downer when we see her playing a damsel in distress later.
Simran plays the stereotyped vamp in the film. She is portrayed as home wrecker who seduces a married man. She has the temper of Kaali, who she is named after, and she thirsts after power. This character has potential but the film refuses to mine it; what we get instead is theatrics and drama.
The name of Soori’s three wives -- Jil, Jung, Juk – is based on a sexist joke from a Vadivelu films is grating and insensitive. The film was promoted as kid-friendly so it does beggar the question if having multiple wives and using them as baby-making machines is considered funny by the makers. Instead of showing any remorse on the part of Soori’s character, we see him marrying for a fourth time at the end of the film. And therein lies the film’s problem – its laugh-out-loud moments are outweighed by face palm moments.
The author tweets as @Priyanka_S_MCC
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