Sakka Podu Podu Raja Tamil Movie
While watching Sakka Podu Podu Raja (SPPR), my thoughts were wobbling between the movie and the concept of a "hero" in the context of Kollywood mass masala films. A mass film's hero is the most ambiguous and misleading job profile that has undergone a humongous transformation since the time dialogues were introduced in films.
As an 80s kid, the first mass hero (without realizing the meaning of mass), I could recognize was Kamal in 'Sakalakala Vallavan'. Then, it was all about Rajinikanth, his famous gimmicks and screenplays getting tailored for his image-building exercise, thanks to late M.G.R for setting such a precedent.
That infectious ripple has religiously seeped through the very core of Kollywood through the ages, only with different actors like Ajith, Vijay, Suriya, Vikram, Simbhu, Dhanush, Sivakarthikeyan and the latest to join the bandwagon is Santhanam.
The success rate of all these actors are different and cannot be compared. However, their motive remains the same - to grab the spotlight for superstardom that is perceived to hand them over the license to literally call the shots as an actor or a "potential" politician. There have been some colourful success stories, but there is an equal number of disasters too.
I know I've taken enough time to ponder into the very definition of a "mass hero" and the very reason lies in the quality of the script of SPPR. The movie cannot get any more generic than this. A mass masala star vehicle that tries to propel Santhanam to superstardom within a short timespan. It tries to achieve it with a lame plot, cliched narrative, actors performing overtly bad and Santhanam who seems to be trained like a circus gorilla to perform everything that is perceived as "mass".
Santhanam was undoubtedly the biggest drawback of this movie. Watching him sport a toned down body with fashion accessories all over, a hair and face makeover that campaigns for his candidature as a hero and some dumb gimmicks like snatching a chewing gum with a tap made it not only tedious to sit through but was a mockery of heroics. Of course, it goes without saying that such a movie calls for a dumb heroine (Vaibhavi), who is alien to Kollywood and bad at lip-syncing.
Santhanam as a comedian has churned out some memorable lines in the past, but here, he had to seek the help of Vivek, who looked out of form. A few lines here and there worked but failed to create an impact. In the age where the script and its leading man are used as a comic relief, Santhaanam tries to reinvent the wheel by travelling at least a decade back.
Also, this stands testimony to the fact that one should try and experiment with one's strength rather than something that is off track. It doesn't mean that one cannot try new things, but certainly, sensibilities at large shouldn't be lost in the process.
When the core of a movie disintegrates, it's only natural for the audiences to lose steam a few minutes into the movie. I was able to hear some grouchy whimpers in the theatres when Santhanam does some gimmicks or breaks into a duet.
Hope Santhaanam learns the right lessons from these mistakes and chooses scripts wisely in the future and plays to his strengths. The very definition of mass is evolving throughout. Heroes are being spoofed time and again. Superstardom should reach an actor rather than the other way around. Let better sense prevail!