One thinks of star kids and assumes they have a free ride to stardom. But after watching Sagaptham , one can’t help but feel for Shanmugha Pandian, actor Vijaykanth’s youngest son. If this is the kind of launch a star kid gets, I guess it is probably better to struggle in Kollywood for decades even if it only means doing a scene or two.
The idea behind S agaptham is to appeal to Vijaykanth’s fans by making a film reminiscent of his from the eighties with his son playing a mere stand-in. Here are some of the dialogues that are clearly addressed at Vijayakanth loyalists. When Saga (Shanmugapandian) rescues a melodramatic Devayani from the clutches of a moneylender, she says, “ Udhavi seiradhula unga appa mathiri thaan neeyum ” (You’re just like your father when it comes to helping people). In another scene, a person tells Saga, “ Unga kannum, paarvaiyum engeyo pathirukken ” (I have seen those eyes and that gaze before). Saga also gets to say, “ Manippu enga parambaraikke pidikkadha varthai” (Forgiveness is a term my family detests), a throwback to Vijayakanth’s punchline in Ramanaa .
Complicating matters are two actresses fighting over Saga. The lip-synching is so bad that I kept myself occupied trying to guess which language the actresses were actually speaking in — this was probably the only time I had fun in the movie. Once the action shifts to Malaysia, you know there’s no redemption possible as you’re made to believe that an unemployable man from India could move to Malaysia and become such an efficient detective there that the impressed police let him live without any work permits! Adding to the mess are drug busts and the liberation of hundreds of trapped Tamil workers. The guest appearance in the end (of you know who) is no surprise, but it does make the film a bit more tolerable.
As you leave the theatre, you leave so with renewed resilience. If you could sit through this, you could face anything else that life throws at you.