Dheerudu: Santhanam’s show

Vishal and Aishwarya in the film  


If you watch Tamil films regularly and freak out over Santhanam’s comedy, this is the film you shouldn’t miss. Other than that there is no reason why you should watch this film. Pattathu Yanai meaning a white elephant was released last year but got a dubbed release after eight months. It has a hilarious opening: Maryada Ramanna (Santhanam) is seen praying to the framed picture of his late father Brindavanam (Santhanam) when a group of thugs walk in to discuss the menu for a wedding. Maryada Ramanna is a caterer; he takes orders for marriages but he is not too happy with this particular order. It is the wedding of a local goon and when he tries to chicken out of the situation by citing a Sheikh’s wedding on the same day, he is threatened with weapons. Ramanna’s assistants flee and at this point of time he welcomes a new group of junior cooks headed by Shiva (Vishal). Matters turn worse and they shift to Vijayawada where Shiva bumps into Aishwarya (Aishwarya Arjun) and falls in love with her.

Telugu comedian Ali’s voice has been used for Santhanam and it suited him perfectly; the latter’s role is vast and is used throughout the film. Even before the second half of the film commences, another plot involving two local goons is introduced and with it is interspersed a romantic episode of Vishal and Aishwarya. We call it romance but there is hardly any chemistry between the lead pair.

Arjun’s daughter Aishwarya makes her debut but there is little about her that deserves mention. Vishal is just okay in his work but the overpowering presence of Santhanam, the humorous dialogues given to him and the rest of the team make Vishal a nonentity. He is just another actor on the screen and that is probably why the director injects unnecessary action scenes that wean away viewers from the main plot. The film could have worked tremendously had Vishal resisted his urge to dominate the script as an action hero.

One scene that you can’t help but smile widely is when Maryada Ramanna is escaping in a huge trash bin covered with discarded plantain leaves used for lunch. The thugs sense something fishy and want the bin checked but they get diverted with a delectable vada staring at them; they pick it up and let Ramanna escape.

Thaman’s music is not impressive. The duets are just fillers to the screenplay. The baddies bore you but towards the climax they are funny. It is a typical Tamil desi film but the dialogue writer has done a good job of translating it, keeping the wit intact.

Sita as Aishwarya’s mother makes a refreshing appearance. The flashback episode weaved on Vishal is a yawn. Full marks to the supporting cast for matching Santhanam’s comic timing. If you are a fan of Santhanam and looking for some laughs, Dheerudu is the movie.


Cast: Vishal, Aishwarya Arjun, Santhanam

Music: S.S Thaman

Direction: Bhupathi Pandian

Plot: A common faces the challenge thrown against him

Genre: Action-comedy

Bottomline: Watch it without any expectation and to kill time.

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