Sattapadi Kutram Review
Vakeel Murali (A hippie Satya Raj charms the audience by blowing smoke in their face) is the leader of a terrorist organization that inducts people who've been taken for a ride by our failed legal system. Damn', haven't we seen enough of this? Yudham Sei, Ayyan, Minsaram and now this? This might not be as bad as the aforementioned films but it still falls short of being considered a good film precisely because it plays it safe by taking itself less seriously.
The characters do things that you don't expect them to do. These terrorists, who prefer to be called victims of the society, are trained to be cold blooded and kill yet they show happiness, feel intense sadness, joke and jump about laughing. They're supposed to be driven by hate, but two of them choose to get married and they all dance. That isn't all. There're more ridiculous things that happen. A cop in plain clothes asks a female villager "Inga thivravadhi irukangala?" LOL, what does he expect her to say? Yeah, take the first left and the next right? She happens to be one of them.
The cop is captured; not to be killed but to be taken on a guided tour to exhibit the terrorist organization. With little talk, this sincere cop is convinced of their sense of righteousness and takes it upon himself to support them. I don't understand how, especially when preachy talk right from the beginning fails to convince the viewers of the same. District collectors, judges and inspectors are kidnapped by the terrorists and forced to listen to their sob stories. That's the terrorizing part of the film and the only part of the film where I could feel empathy.
I could say realism takes a number of blows, but I won't because realism is Sattapadi Kuttram's least concern. Its main concern is entertainment factor. It wants to hold your attention. Something eventful keeps happening. That doesn't qualify as a good film but gives you enough reason to check it out. It doesn't mind getting an "okay" verdict because that way, it'll make money even if it doesn't create a sensation.
You clearly see that S.A.Chandrasekar has put effort into the film but he chooses to give the audience what they've already seen and are comfortable with. He doesn't want to take the risk of giving the audience something new and challenging. He lets go of every opportunity at being subtle and keeps some elements of the film obvious enough to insult your intelligence. Hence, it's easy to sit through the film. Considering its intentions, you could call it a success. It lets your time pass. Credit goes to lighting and the camera work for giving the film an appealing look and feel. I was also pleased by the cultural references about a saint accused of having sex with a disciple, and, a minister belonging to a certain political party that grabs the tax-payer's money and lets it accumulate in Swiss banks. Now I understand why there was a petition filed to prevent screening of the film.
The acting is something that's hard for me to critique. If you're given a screenplay with characters that are far from real and do things just to keep the film going, it isn't the actors who are entirely to blame. Not entirely but they aren't good either. You know what they're trying to convey but they don't convey it effectively. Actor Seeman makes a special appearance as a lawyer and steals the film with his dead-on dialogue delivery. Sadly, the film isn't worth stealing.
Realism is Sattapadi Kuttram's least concern. Its main concern is entertainment factor. It doesn't qualify as a good film but it manages to hold your interest."
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