Hari, known for his commercial and likeable flicks like ‘Aiyaah’, ‘Sami’ and ‘Aaru’, bounces back after a brief lull with ‘Singam’. Amid films which eat away the brains of the audience in the name of commercial cinema, Hari has come up with a proper and enjoyable fare, which itself is appreciable.
The film, which is Suriya’s landmark 25th film, has all the ingredients of a hit film and might easily add to the list of the actor’s hit films.
The theme of the story is how a courageous, honest takes on the local don and wins over his designs to trap him. Not an unseen story but the way the script is written makes it interesting for the viewers. Suriya’s usual powerhouse performance, Prakashraj’s ever-so-casual acting and Anoushka’s near-flawless beauty and oomph factor makes the film a compelling viewing.
Mayilvahanan (Prakashraj) is the all-encompassing don who indulges in all kinds of illegal deeds like mediating in disputes by use of sheer force, meting out threats to landlords and extracting money from them, etc. The film begins with Mayil taking the life of one of his own men, who had betrayed him. Then enters Sub-Inspector Singam (Suriya), who thwarts the attempts of goons in looting the hundi of a temple in Thoothukudi.
Singam, who gets his posting at his place of birth, solves many issues by his acumen with words instead of making them as ‘police cases’. An industrialist (Nasser) moves his business to Thoothukudi and settles down there along with his beautiful daughter Kaavya (Anoushka). In keeping with the Tamil film formula, Singam falls for Kaavya and vice-versa.
Mayilvahanan, who gets extortion threat from his rivals, takes refuge in Thoothukudi accidentally. The clash between Mayil and Singam begins, with the former succeeding in ‘packing off’ Singam on ‘forced transfer’ to Chennai. The clash reaches a crescendo even as Singam sweats it out to manage his love affair in tact. A gripping climax tells us how he manages to win both.
As stated earlier, old wine has been poured in a newly-designed bottle and it tastes good, thanks to the packaging by the director. After ‘Sami’ a few years ago, Hari has made a strong comeback with his sleek, gripping screenplay which holds the viewers’ interest for 155 minutes on the trot. The way the enmity between the don and the cop is built up and the events leading to the same have been well conceived and brought on-screen.
Hari’s typical style of inter-weaving a mild romance in between the sickles and bullets continues in ‘Singam’ too. Anoushka’s talk with Suriya (supposed to inspire the latter) somehow looks listless. Stunt sequences are choreographed well. Hari’s dialogues are razor-sharp and to the point.
Though a cop’s role may not have the requisite scope to put on display the multitude of acting talents that Suriya possesses, the actor still dazzles in his role. He looks majestic in the cop’s uniform and scores heavily in the acting department. His facial expressions and body language are just appropriate. Samples: the way he clashes with the goons, his romance with Anoushka, his belief in his confidence when he takes on his seniors, etc. The stand-out sequences are his talk with Prakashraj inside the latter’s den and the way he speaks to ‘Nizhalgal’ Ravi on a particular occasion.
The tall and slimly-built Anoushka satisfactorily performs the usual role of a heroine in a commercial film. Her pretty face does reveal many cute expressions. She looks promising enough to dazzle in a heroine-oriented role a la ‘Arundhati’. In song sequences, Anoushka adopts the ‘liberalization policy’ by exposing ‘freely’, much to the chagrin of the front-benchers.
Prakashraj impresses as he does more often than not. Vivek, as the head constable (‘Yettu Erimalai), tickles the rib-bones at times. Veterans Vjiayakumar and Nasser haven’t much work to do.
Music by Devi Sri Prasad is just appropriate and the number ‘En Idhayam Idhuvarai…’ lingers on in the mind long after you have left the hall.