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‘Sixer’ movie review: Eyes wide shut

Vaibhav in ‘Sixer’  

Tamil filmmakers often find themselves in the opposite ends of the spectrum when dealing with characters with disabilities. They have the tendency to jump the gun, resulting in two extreme genres — a sob story where the medical condition is used as an excuse to earn the audience’s sympathy for the character’s supposed miserable life. Or, we get a rapturous comedy where jokes are aimed at a differently-abled person, who’s reduced to nothing but a caricature. Sixer, directed by débutante Chachi, falls in the latter category, except, it’s anything but rapturous.

Remember Kasturi paati from Super Deluxe, Mayakkam Enna and countless other films? She gets to introduce Sixer’s hero, Aadhi (Vaibhav), by welcoming him with a typical hero-glorifying line. What’s interesting, though, is that she calls him ‘Suriyan’. Her description of him is: “Like the sun, he rises to the occasion and sets in the evening.” The line may seem odd, even laughable, at first. But when you meet Aadhi (the name means ‘sun’), it makes perfect sense. Sixer kicks off with a nervous-looking Aadhi who’s worried about the sun setting.

Sixer
  • Cast: Vaibhav, Pallak Lalwani, Sathish, Radha Ravi, Ilavarasu and Sriranjani
  • Director: Chachi
  • Storyline: Aadhi has nyctalopia, a medical condition that causes poor or no vision at night. He pretends to be normal, thus finding himself entangled in a series of strange situations

The camera whizzes past him as he rushes home. It’s 6 pm and he’s watching Thalapathi. But here comes the twist; he has night blindness. Aadhi gets a panic attack every time the clock ticks close to 6pm. In that sense, the title should have ideally been Six...er? It’s not clinically proven that the retinal disorder kicks in at six in the evening and yet, Sixer borrows the basic idea from Goundamani’s outrageously funny track in Chinna Thambi. The film, in fact, tips its hat to the comedian. Chachi exploits his protagonist’s disability to the fullest and also ends up creating ridiculous situations, just to evoke laughter. The jokes in Sixer, too, are of two extremes. They’re either consistently funny or consistently in bad taste.

Take the scene where Aadhi involuntarily participates in a protest (by the way, who protests late at night?) against a minister accused of sexual harassment. He has no clue about what its for and listens to Tamil film songs at the venue. The minister’s henchmen chase the protesters away and they lose spirit as they disperse. Aadhi casually hums ‘Tholvi Nilaiyena Ninaithaal’ to himself and raises his hand, as if to say, “We won’t give up. Not until we die.” This gesture gives the crowd a boost and the protest regains momentum. Come to think of it, it’s hilarious piece of writing.

Sixer also has a brief homophobic stretch that makes you squirm. Of course, the presence of a heroine (Pallak Lalwani) who cannot get a single word right in Tamil is more irking than Chachi’s tunnelled vision about nyctalopia among other things.


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Printable version | Oct 15, 2021 12:12:12 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/sixer-movie-review-eyes-wide-shut/article29297812.ece

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