More than two decades ago a film called ‘Guru Sishyan’ that had Rajinikanth and Prabhu as its protagonists came as a breezy, family entertainer and still remains vivid. The title is the same but the latest ‘Guru Sishyan’ (A) is a far, far cry from the earlier film. Granted, the effort, time and money involved in the making of a film are immense. But if it is only going to result in an unbearable hotchpotch, how patient can a viewer be? Neither its maker, Shakti Chidambaram, nor its lead cast of Satyaraj and Sundar C. seem unduly concerned about the fate of the filmgoer, who pays for such fare. Or do they think those who visit the cinemas will gulp down every kind of claptrap they are served in the name of entertainment? Either way the pattern isn’t healthy.

It’s rather perplexing that a senior like Satyaraj has allowed himself to be a part of this drama. Does it befit the stature of an actor who created a new style in villainy some decades ago and enacted roles of greats such as Periyar recently to be a part of a film that has implausible incidents, improbable twists and logic-defying occurrences?

After a few initial attempts at weaving a storyline of sorts and introducing a certain amount of suspense, Chidambaram gives up and allows unrelated incidents to take over and make mincemeat of the Guru and his Sishyan. Inane sequences with Harthi, Santhanam, a graphics-activated tiger in a marriage hall, and people who change tack without rhyme or reason make you squirm in dismay. If it was the director’s idea of fun, sorry Chidambaram, the only emotion they evoke is anger – anger at being taken for a solid ride.

Is it the same hero you saw playing solid parts in films such as ‘Veeraappu’? Sundar C.’s role of the Sishyan is a total disappointment. But without a bankable story, and a screenplay that hangs in separate strands, an actor can do little.

Satyaraj’s off key strains (he has sung too!) and Kiran’s gyrations do nothing to increase your interest in ‘Guru Sishyan’ – if at all anything, they are counter-productive.

The least filmmakers can do, is grant the viewer with some intelligence. Have a heart -- the gullible filmgoer doesn’t deserve to be treated so!