A light-hearted take on cinema and small screen reality shows, the subject of Sabash Sariyaana Potti (U) is promising. A gullible young man from the village believes the words of a popular film hero, who visits his village, and follows him to the city. His trials begin there. Without clichés in the treatment of romance, SSP is neat. Also, a few of composer Thaman's numbers are a saving grace. But do these alone assure sustainability?
Things go awry when actor and first-time director Venu Arvind goes overboard in his attempt to make SSP a laugh riot. So, several sequences seem contrived. The screenplay lacks pace that towards the end you lose patience.
SSP's characters aren't clearly defined and at times act without rationale. Jayaram's volte face in the end and his explanation (!) for it is a sample.
The final segment, on the lines of some of ‘Crazy' Mohan's cacophonous climaxes and the finale of Manmadhan Ambu, confounds! Even astute ironies, such as the one where the patrolling policeman who promises to nab the culprit escaping in the van, not even taking a second look at the vehicle standing right next to him, go unnoticed in the melee.
If the matinee idol JR (Jayaram) being downright silly most of the time is supposed to be humorous, sorry, it falls flat! And ‘Delhi' Ganesh and Vaiyapuri who play his assistants don't help lift the comedy element in any way. Surprisingly, Tamil Cinema's staple — the mother sentiment — also fails to work because her advice to the son, Gnanaguru (Sriram Karthik), isn't sensible. The son comes across as a dimwit too — his ploy to emerge winner of the reality show proves he is one. His presumptuous comments about the film actor's boozing habits irritate not just JR but the viewer too. Much later Gnanaguru does give a reason for his outburst but by then the damage is done.
Sriram Karthik's performance fails to appeal mainly because the character doesn't act or react in a logical manner. The only actor who makes an impression with a subdued portrayal is debutante Anjana Thamburatti as heroine Ranjani. Otherwise most of the performers, including Venu Arvind as the pilferer (he plays the dual role of James and John), seem like caricatures! And frankly the reason for the presence of some of them is baffling.
A voiceover to introduce the various characters at the beginning of a film is fine. But when it goes on and on, it is tedium.
In SSP, truly funny situations are few and far between and the dialogue is witty only in bits and pieces. And of course, spontaneity is a casualty.
Sabash Sariyaana Potti
Director: Venu Arvind
Cast: Jayaram, Sriram Karthik, Anjana Thamburatti
Storyline: An encounter between a star and an aspirant
Bottomline: Hmmm … What more can I say?