'Singam Puli' as the title suggests pits twins against each other; there's Shiva, an honest, crass fisherman and the other, Ashok, a lawyer who gets a high on deceiving people. Tamil Cinema, once again exploits the dual role trick. Ashok is a sexual predator and every random 'figure' is prey. Somehow, he has his way with most of them. The ones who aren't easy to sleep with, he has a strategy. He goes to the woman's house pretending to be looking for someone else and tries chatting her up. If that fails, he has a back-up plan- to yelp like a dog. That works; they pat him on the head and invite him inside to relish a 'full meal.' The misogynistic humour is disguised but it certainly isn't subtle. It gets you to chuckle but at times it's sickly overdone. I felt like I'm watching the wrong movie- one meant for teenagers who've just hit puberty. Besides jokes on eunuchs, sample this- a man's thupaaki
being small, a teenage girl being 'fresh
' and comedian presenting coloured lingerie to a girl he just met. The censor board must be a bunch of boneheads to miss all of this. These are the same guys who slashed 'The King's Speech' with an 'A' rating.
Jeeva chews up scenery with his histrionic performance as both Ashok and Shiva which isn't entirely his fault. As if portraying one undeveloped character wasn't bad enough, he has to slip into two undeveloped characters and yet make you forget that they're being played by the same person. His effort is strictly physical. The cinematography is functional and the music isn't anything that you'll be humming the next day. The editing is flawed at times. You see through the dual role camera trick. Were there even retakes of scenes? I highly doubt it.
The film is well packaged. More effort has gone into the clothes, the hairstyle(s), shoes and sunglasses. It's ornate on the outside, content-free on the inside. It's like that packet of chips that's half-filled with air; in this case there's only air. The director plays it safe by taking the film less seriously, which is why it couldn't possibly come across as pretentious, like Mysskin's latest venture- Yudham Sei. You should know though, that he doesn't take the audience seriously either. Most of the film is watchable but towards the end, you want it to rev up. It will work here because people view films as a way to escape from reality, but it isn't by any measure a good film.
Singam Puli is a mildly entertaining film that is worth checking out if you're looking for popcorn escapism. It is neither smart nor boring. The events of the film are implausible. If you want to enjoy it, put your questions aside and just suck it up. On the flipside, it gets very ingratiating towards the end.
Critic: Rohit Ramachandran
(2 / 5) : Average