"Seval" means rooster - the domestic bird that usually fights its pair. the game is quite popular in Tirunelveli district in Tamil Nadu. Incidentally, that is where director Hari's movies are always set.
Hari has eschewed his trademark corny one-liners and induced his male lead Bharat to sweat constructively for his latest offering's success. And Bharat has shined in a role that would have done more established stars Ajith or Vijay proud.
Narrated in the flashback mode, "Seval" is all about Murugesan (Bharat) and the reason for his 17 years' penal servitude.
As a youngster, a naughty Murugesan harasses girls in the village and lives off the fat of the land, irritating his parents.
He falls like a ton of bricks for Parijatham (Poonam Bajwa, wonderful performance as a Brahmin girl).
While a bumpkin postman Vadivelu plays cupid, a village chieftain (Sampath Raj) and a lecherous relative (Krishna) play spoilsports to the chagrin of the elder sibling of Parijatham played by Simran (wasted).
The rest of the screenplay and its eventual climax are pat and petty.
Despite her language and nativity handicap, Poonam has lived her role, looking every bit a Tirunelveli upper-caste girl with her shy glances.
Despite the story having flaws galore, fast paced screenplay more or less manages to hide them.
Yesteryear's dreamgirl Simran looks like a fish out the Tamaraparani River that irrigates this picturesque district framed imaginatively by Priyan's cinematography.
The musical scores of G.V. Prakash are a terrible letdown.
Hari panders to the taste of his rural audience all the way, but the movie is bound to disappoint city-dwellers since neither the story nor its treatment appeal to anyone with an IQ quotient higher than the least educated village wastrel.