Once upon a time Sundar.C was considered to be one among the select band of safe commercial Tamil filmmakers. Safe, because the filmmaker would ensure that an entertainer in the complete sense would be delivered, keeping the producer happy as well. But like many of his contemporaries the acting bug bit him too.After starting off with a surprise hit- Thalainagaram, Sundar.C went on to act in a spate of films, most of which failed. After attempting even a remake of a Rajnikanth superhit (Murattu Kalai) and failing at that, it was good to see Sundar. C return to focus on his key strength- filmmaking. His comeback film Kalakalappu @ Masala Café was one of the biggest hits of 2012 and it also re-emphasized the fact that when it comes to comedy, Sundar.C is definitely a master of the genre.
Buoyed by the success of Kalakalappu Sundar.C announced a bi-lingual film, Theeya Velai Seyyanum Kumaru (You’ve got to work hard Kumar, referred to as TVSK hereon) in Tamil and Something Something in Telugu. Similar to Kalakalappu TVSK/Something Something was also to be co-produced by Sundar.C’s home banner, Avni Cinemax and UTV Motion Pictures. Featuring Siddharth and Hansika Motwani in the lead, TVSK has Santhanam playing a crucial role which has been done by Brahmanandam in the Telugu version. Siddharth who had earlier been focusing more on Telugu and Hindi films has made a good return to Tamil Cinema in the last couple of years, finally realizing the worth of making bi-lingual and/or dubbed films catering to both the Tamil and Telugu markets. Naturally the saleability of Siddharth in both the languages must have influenced Sundar.C in choosing him, apart from the subject of the film itself wherein Siddharth fits the lead role to a T.
Let’s get the basics out of the way first. There is absolutely nothing novel about the plot of TVSK. But then when did we start going to watch Sundar.C’s films excepting something dramatically unique in the plot? Siddharth plays Kumar, a software engineer from a family which swears by love marriages. However Kumar has right from his childhood had unpleasant experiences with the fairer sex and hence has sworn off girls. But that’s when the pretty Sanjana (Hansika Motwani) makes her entry into his organization and he falls hook, line and sinker for Sanjana. Not only is Kumar unable to convey his feelings to her but he also realizes that she holds the attention of everyone in the office, most importantly of her superior George (Ganesh Venkatraman). Egged on by his friend and colleague Karna (RJ Balaji) and his brother in laws, Kumar seeks the help of Mokia (Santhanam), a professional love guru.
Thanks to the ‘mentoring’ by Mokia, Kumar gains in confidence and undergoes a transformation (luckily nothing too unrealistic). Just when he is about to finally propose to Sanjana, George beats him to it and the World comes crashing down for Kumar. What happens from thereon and whether Kumar and Sanjana finally unite is what the rest of the film is all about. You do not need to be a true blue cinephile to realize that the film will have a happy ending as with most such romantic entertainers. The only so called ‘twist’ in the plot comes via Mokia and barring that, the rest of the story is not difficult to guess at all. Despite this crucial aspect, the film still manages to hold itself over the entire course of its duration, something that not all filmmakers can manage to do so with a plot like this.
By and large as the promos promised the film revolves around only 3 main characters and Siddharth, Hansika and Santhanam clearly shoulder the film on their shoulders comfortably. The supporting case does a reasonably good job in aiding the lead actors. Sundar.C does not waste any time in driving home his intentions clear to the audience. The characters are all mostly funny in their own ways, without appearing silly. Also there are enough and more situations in the film to tickle our funny bone and keep ourselves going. Like how Santhanam as Mokia keeps spontaneously thrusting the credit/debit card swiping machine, when he is about to offer some advice or plan. Or even the red light area sequence where Manobala shines in his own characteristic fashion.
C.Sathya’s music is pretty decent and most of the songs are hummable, though they may not remain with you after a few months. There is an emphasis on melody as seen in case of songs like ‘Azhagendral’ (C.Sathya and Ranina Reddy), ‘Melliya Saaral’ (Yazin and Harish Iyer) and ‘Enna Pesa’ (Haricharan). But melody is balanced by boisterous and funky songs like ‘Loveukku Yes’ (Sharmila, Ranjit, Dr.Narayanan), ‘Kozhu Kozhu’ (Vijay Prakash and Priya Himesh) and ‘Thiruttu Pasanga’ (Saindhavi, Rainina Reddy and Dr.Narayanan). Pa.Vijay has written the lyrics for all the 6 songs in the film.
The writing essentially works and as expected Santhanam walks away with the best of the lines. Nalan Kumarasamy who directed the recent successful film- Soodhu Kavvum has assisted Sundar.C in the writing and the effort shows in terms of the sequences and the dialogues. My favourite moment in the film is how Santhanam gets emotional seeing Siddharth’s family’s love for Hansika and exclaims something like ‘idhu veede kidayathe, Vikraman oda padam than’ (this is not a house but a Vikraman movie) and proceeds to dance to the tune of ‘Engal veetil ella naalum karthigai’ from Vikraman’s Vanathaipola 🙂 .
As mentioned already the characters are well etched out and add their flavour to the proceedings. Devadarshini and Bosskey contrast each other as the elder sister and brother in law of Siddharth. RJ Balaji, popular for his radio shows is funny as Karna, Siddharth’s close friend and colleague. Ganesh Venkatraman comes across as the 2nd lead for most part of the 1st half, only to disappear post the interval. Both Manobala and Delhi Ganesh are wonderful in their respective cameos. Hansika is proving to get better and better and seems to enjoy featuring in comedy films as seen of late (Oru Kal Oru Kannadi, Settai etc). Siddharth and Hansika had earlier worked together in the Telugu film Oh My Friend and they share pretty good chemistry. For Siddharth, the role of Kumar is a cakewalk and he does it sincerely enough. Needless to say the show stealer is Santhanam and he does not disappoint at all. Watching the loud response he attracted with his entry scene (compared to a very ordinary entry for Siddharth), it was clear whom the audience was rooting for.
Even at the end when the film did for a moment appear to be dangerously headed for some emotional drama, Sundar.C steers it very clearly out of the serious zone. TVSK may not be in contention for the best Tamil film of the year, it may not even rank among Sundar.C’s top few films, but nevertheless it’s a harmless entertainer in every sense. Also with the comedy being more or less of a clean kind, it’s a film that can be seen by one and all. The Sundar. C – UTV combination seems to have got it right for the second time in a row. It would be interesting to see what Sundar.C goes on to do after this.