I’m really not a Hansika fan and tend to avoid her in movies as much as possible, but with nothing else releasing here this weekend I decided to risk it and headed out to watch the latest Sundar C. romantic comedy Theeya Velai Seiyyanum Kumaru. Rather surprisingly I enjoyed it! Haniska wasn’t too annoying mainly due to limited time onscreen, the film made me laugh even without subtitles and judging by the audience reaction it was even funnier if you did understand the dialogue. Siddharth and Santhanam make a good comedy team and with the help of a good support cast, the film turned out to be well worth the drive out to the bijou cinema at Monash.
The story is fairly straight-forward, easy to follow and doesn’t break any new ground. Siddharth is Kumar, a bit of a nerd who works in an IT company where he’s essentially just another anonymous worker. At home he has a loving family who have a history of romantic marriages and seem to care for Kumar despite his generally apathetic attitude towards life. Although he works in an office full of women, Kumar doesn’t seem to have much interest in romance, but then the beautiful Sanjana (Hansika Motwani) starts working at the same company and suddenly Kumar falls in love. Sanjana has to put up with the masses of frustrated IT workers falling at her feet, but seems to show a preference for office hero and all-round overachiever George (Ganesh Venkatraman). This could be the influence of a string ensemble and massive bouquet of flowers, but to be fair with his looks, success at work and dedication to romance, George really has a lot going for him.
Seeing that his affair is destined to fail unless he takes some kind of action, Kumar consults love guru Mokia (Santhanam) to try and help him win the girl of his dreams. With Mokia’s help, Kumar learns how to ditch the glasses and nerdy attitude but also discovers that devious deception is the way to win a girl’s heart. Having used Mokia’s often dodgy advice, Kumar gets the girl but discovers that using unscrupulous means doesn’t mean that he will be able to keep the girl, especially when Mokia discovers exactly who it is that Kumar has been chasing.
The real star of the film is Santhanam who keeps the laughs coming and makes an effective partnership with Siddharth. This is a role that Siddharth has played before but he is less hyperactive than usual and his geeky Kumar is just realistic enough to garner some sympathy for his ineptness. Santhanam suits this type of comedy where his character doesn’t just rely on one-liners but rather uses some physical comedy and his facial expressions to good effect. Although his love guru is strictly in it for the money he does still manage to make Kumar more presentable and increases his confidence levels despite his rather dubious methodology. Quite an impressive effort given what he had to work with and his own style choices.
The support cast also add to the comedy and include a number of faces from TV including RJ Balaji and Bosskey who are both effective in their roles. I don’t know the names of the actresses who played Sanjana’s friends at her lodgings, but they are good value and make the scenes with Hansika less excruciating to watch as well as having some genuinely funny moments of their own. Manobala pops up as a brothel owner rather appropriately attired in red silk while Samantha and Vishal Krishna also make brief guest appearances.
Hansika doesn’t have a lot to do except look pretty and she actually does look much better than her last few films. I’m not sure if she dubbed for herself in this film but her voice is rather screechy and irritating, although at least she doesn’t get a lot of dialogue. Sundar C. has kept her role to a minimum and she is fine as the love interest, although there is minimal chemistry between her and Siddharth.
What doesn’t work so well though are the songs – the one above is probably the best of the bunch. All are pictured on Siddharth and Hansika and between Siddarth’s dreadful clothes and Hansika’s woeful dancing they really drag despite some pleasant locations. Hansika really can’t dance and to make her try to move in high heeled shoes and boots is just cruel, but somehow also quite amusing. In the pictures below you can see the high heels that she tries to dance in which perhaps goes some way to explain why she looks so stiff and inhibited. There are times where it’s obvious she’s concentrating really hard on the steps, but that doesn’t seem to help and she looks very restrained compared to Siddharth. Overall the choreography isn’t impressive and the backing dancers in Japan are particularly odd which adds to the overall disappointment.
If the songs are disappointing, at least the comedy is of a much higher quality and the cast do an excellent job of keeping the film from dragging. Of course I noticed that Siddharth gets to wear some trendy glasses (as do quite a few of the cast) and there is a brief contact lens interlude which I appreciated. The humour is genuinely funny throughout and both Santhanam and Siddharth are engaging and work well to compliment each other. Although the rest of the cast add to the comedy it’s all reasonably subtle (for Tamil comedy!) and best of all there are no terrible comedy uncles. Overall Theeya Velai Seiyyanum Kumaru is a non-taxing and amusing watch which may not tread any new ground but does manage to entertain successfully. And after all, that’s a lot more than I was expecting.