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‘Seeru’ movie review: A neat entertainer, despite the outdated ‘commercial’ presentation

‘Seeru’: An earnest performance from Jiiva makes this a watchable outing  

(Spoilers ahead)

Hear the good news first: there are some pleasant surprises in Seeru. But to get there, you need to tide over the first hour of rudimentary Kollywood essentials like needless fights, a romance that has no future, and unnecessary build-up for the hero.

Sample the very first scene: a couple of girls are driving down hearing Ilaiyaraaja songs when a bunch of goons, dressed as policemen, accost and misbehave with them. They send a distressed Whatsapp voice note on a group, which receives prompt concerned replies from supposed ‘friends’. One of them replies, “I’ll be there soon,” and that sentence is enough for the girl — who has no clue who this knight in shining armour is — to tell the goons: “Kettala...” (Did you hear that? Wait for him.”) I’ve not seen many lamer hero-introduction sequences in recent times.

That hero is Manimaran (Jiiva), who, after arriving to slow-motion shots and thunderous music, is introduced as a person who runs a local cable channel. The town is Mayavaram, and that’s his ‘area’. So much so that when someone asks him his name, he says, “Just get down at Mayavaram and ask for Manimaran. You’ll get to me.”

He could well have been a plumber or a carpenter, it would hardly matter in the greater scheme of things. For, Seeru is a bit like Vijay’s 2005 flick Thirupaachi: designed to be high on ‘sister sentiment’ and ‘friendship sentiment’.

Seeru
  • Genre: Action
  • Cast: Jiiva, Riya Suman, Navdeep, Varun
  • Storyline: A person running a local TV channel needs to find out who is out to kill him

Manimaran is very close to his sister Ilakiya (Gayathri) and leads a relatively happy life, but things take a turn when he receives a call from Malli (Varun, who seems to have paid more attention to his unkempt look rather than performance). Malli is out to kill Manimaran, who has an ongoing tiff with a local MLA (an issue that you think might be the core plot, but will actually vanish in a jiffy), Malli comes to Manimaran’s house, but the latter is not there and his pregnant sister is alone at home and experiencing labour pain.

The surprises arrive after this: the villain isn’t actually one, and much later, when Mani hits a few goons, it’s for a reason you wouldn’t fathom. An enemy becomes a friend, and a misplaced walkie-talkie comes to good use...so much that the actual hero-villain clash in the climax becomes perfunctory.

The commercial action sequences weigh down Seeru a lot, but there’s still some amount of thought in the director Rathnasiva’s storyline. The film becomes a different beast towards the second half when it starts veering into the ‘women empowerment’ angle, which Kollywood seems to have taken quite a liking for in recent times.

Seeru comes across as a film that’s at least a decade old, in terms of its outdated presentation and over-the-top sequences. The romance track featuring Riya Suman isn’t anything to write home about, but it does give us the lilting Vaa Vaasuki composed by Imman and sung with punch by Shankar Mahadevan’s son Shivam, who can find more meaningful work if he works on his Tamil diction. It doesn’t help that the main villain Navdeep is of little importance here. But the surprises within the traditional masala format, and an earnest performance by Jiiva, keep it engaging.


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Printable version | Sep 17, 2021 7:32:57 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/seeru-movie-review-a-neat-entertainer-despite-the-outdated-commercial-presentation/article30760025.ece

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