The comic undertone is unmistakable as the film starts with 'Sholay'-puram and 'Jaishankar'-puram. The first cowboy film in Tamil in more than 30 years is the story of how the Murattu Singam (Raghava) from 'Jaishankar'-puram tames the all-powerful Sheriff based in Irumbukottai. A treasure-hunt attack by Red Indians and other typical cowboy movie features have been added in a liberal manner to make the film interesting.
Simbudevan successfully weaves all the ingredients required to make a cowboy film in an engrossing way - a hat-wearing priest, treasure-hunt and the bullets whizzing past the ears of the fighters, etc. Though it's a full-length cowboy film, the sequences are rather comic.
The film also takes a dig at the present day politics. But the comic elements go overboard in most of the sequences. In the name of being 'hilarious', the scriptwriter takes too much liberty and loses original plot. The second half is too lengthy and drags.
Too many twists and turns in the story mar the impact. The three-heroine formula and the hero's mandatory duet with each one of them is too much to digest.
Simbudevan, however, deserves kudos for capturing the cowboy-style sequences in a natural manner. Art director Muthuraj has created a small town for the backdrop of the film and his work is commendable. Songs composed by G.V. Prakash Kumar are easy to forget, but background score by Sabesh-Murali is soothing.
Azhappan's camera work is admirable.
Lawrence dazzles as an innocent guy and an action hero. Among the heroines, Lakshmi Rai looks good and dances well. Both Padmapriya and Sandhiya look like sorry ladies because of poorly etched characters.
Saikumar as villain is enjoyable. Nasser as the main villain is impressive. In fact, he actually can pass off as the 'real hero' of the film.
The huge star cast notwithstanding, the film fails to hold the viewers' interest for long. But Baskar and his side kick Cham brings the roof down with their gimmicks. Their dialogue delivery and body language are simply brilliant.
The high points of the movie are Nasser, cinematography, art direction and background score. Had the second-half been little pacy, the film would have hit the bull's eye.