Sembi Tamil Movie
Eager to understand what could be going through director Prabhu Solomon's head when he sits down to write a script. Does he always start with the phrase "Atop the hill...." or
"As the clouds pave way for the golden sun rays to pierce through...."? Prabhu Solomon's scripts are majorly terrain-driven and have been invariably set amidst tall cliffs and thick forests, with the main characters embarking on adventurous journeys.
I am sure the hills have so much to narrate. Not a lifetime is enough to understand the people living on the hills, their lives, and their aspirations. Portraying raw emotions on screen and building strong supporting characters around it has been the director's forte. In the recently released 'Sembi' too he has done that.
Veerathai (Kovai Sarala), is an old woman who lives with her granddaughter atop a hill near Kodaikanal. While Sembi is out to sell honey, she becomes a victim of gang rape. The police and the administration turn a blind eye to the incident. They try to cover the incident from snow bowling into a catastrophe. Was Senbi served justice?
As mentioned before, this milieu is the director's home territory. Hills and the haunted hues are alien for an average moviegoer. The cast is another critical aspect that has been addressed well. To see 'Kovai' Sarala portray such a pivotal role that is way different from her on-screen persona to date is commendable. The body language, expression, and emotions that she brings out are outstanding.
Aswin Kumar who was in the news for all the wrong reasons has got a great role to reverse his misfortune. He has risen to the occasion and delivered it handsomely without overdoing things. Thambi Ramaiah, though had a limited presence, has utilized it well. The little girl as 'Sembi' was a great selection. Her emotions and the way she brought the same on-screen begs for laurels!
Overall, the underlying emotion has been well herded by the narrative with the music and background score of Nivas Prasanna and Jeevan's cinematography! The first half connected so well with the audience that we expected a solid second half to seal things off. I was a little disappointed with the way things went by in the second half. Liberties were readily availed to make Sembi escape from the Police.
Also, the crowd cheering for Sembi and the rapid social media multiplier effect, and the resolution of the case by the hacker network were something that the director could have taken time to write about or could have ignored. The bus, the journey, the dynamics between each traveler, and the ultimate accident remind me of Prabhu Solomon's Mynaa'.
This movie had great potential to become a blockbuster. However, the director's over cautiousness on certain commercial aspects does not augur well with the movie. It passes muster and can be classified as a watchable drama!