'Settai' - misses soul of original
| Haricharan Pudipeddi
"Settai", the Tamil remake of Hindi adult-comedy "Delhi Belly" has its moments of laughter to look forward to, but it definitely misses the soul of the original.
As much as I tried not to compare the film with its original, there are instances in the film where you automatically revisit the Hindi version. In an attempt to do justice to the original, "Settai" fails to innovate and gives audiences more reasons not to like it even when it desperately attempts to entertain in an exercise it partly succeeds in.
The story takes us through the escapades of three friends, J.K., Cheenu and Nakki, caught in a sick game involving the search for diamonds worth millions and the fate of few lives. Does the trio make its way out of the mess or not? This forms the rest of the story.
The idea to remake "Delhi Belly" by omitting parts that actually made it successful at the first place, was a calculated risk taken by the makers. Now that, unfortunately, doesn't work in the favour of the film.
Promoted as not a frame-to-frame copy of the original, I didn't find a single scene that was original in the entire course of "Settai". It's okay for once, twice and even thrice to sit through cheap humour in the name of entertainment, but not every single time you walk into a Tamil film featuring Santhanam and his senseless one-liners.
You can't stop comparing the films because almost every small detailing in "Settai" reminds us of the original. If the film forces you to revisit "Delhi Belly" at every juncture, then it's unlikely that you are going to have an entertaining experience. I couldn't find reasons to acknowledge the fact that the film was adapted for the Tamil audiences because almost all locations and unfolding of scenes are exactly the same as that in "Delhi Belly".
Be it the chase in burqas, climax shootout or even the whole 'stomach upset' sub-plot, it all boils down to word we are all familiar with, copy.
This whole humour involving conversations between three friends loses charm over a period of time. While some of Santhanam's witty lines are cheerful, but on the whole, only turn irksome and repetitive at some point. You are left waiting for better and sensible lines from him, but disappointment is all that you find at the end.
Since when did friendship become praying that your best friend's girlfriend dumps him so that you could try your luck? And above all, you have the guts to call this friendship and celebrate it? I'm sure Tamil audiences have matured over the years to handle adult-comedy. There was absolutely no need to have made a watered-down version of the original sans cuss words if you didn't know how to make it.
All the actors were just ordinary and there is nothing noteworthy to be brought to the fore for appreciation. Thaman's music leaves no effect and only makes us wonder at the placement of songs that breaks the flow of narrative not once, but multiple times. Even though "Settai" is visually appealing, that doesn't make much of a difference to the output.
Critic: Haricharan Pudipeddi
2.3 out of 5 (Average)
WHAT THE RATINGS MEAN:
0.0 - 1.4 : Poor
1.5 - 1.7: Poor, A Few Good Parts
1.8 - 2.3: Average
2.4 - 2.9: Fairly Good
3.0 - 3.4: Good
3.5 - 5.0: Very Good