Starring: Silambarasan, Sneha, Sana Khan, Prabhu, Santhanam
Music: Yuvan Shankar Raja
Production: Lakshmi Movie Makers Limited
Silambattam is about retribution, an oft repeated theme in Tamil cinema and a very regular element of Silambarasan starrers. It is all about the feuds within a family that take on unmanageable proportions and result in death and despair for many. An extended family in a village is leading a happy and united existence. The head of the family is a much loved man in the village and in his last days he leaves a large chunk of his property for the welfare of his villagers. Most of the family is happy to abide by the decision of their godfather, but there are factions that believe that the old man has shown more largesse than is agreeable and decide to oppose it. Push comes to shove and the inevitable sickle takes center stage. As many members of the family are killed, some of them make off with their lives, never to return. But destiny brings back one boy to his roots and when he learns of what has passed, then retribution is the only thing on his mind.
The director has admitted that the plot is not novel. Well, we don’t expect a path breaker either. The director has handled the story and screenplay and while it cannot be denied that the plot and the script do show signs of promise and potential, the ultimate realization has been found wanting. Somehow, one gets the feeling of an opportunity that has been wasted. The narration is not sound, though it is difficult to put one’s finger on exactly what the weaker points are, lack of application on the director’s part seems to be the culprit here.
Silambarasan has turned in a whole hearted performance. Appearing in two roles for the second time in his career, he makes good use of the scope provided. His role as the villager in the ‘flashback’ mode must be appreciated, especially his combination with Sneha who also has managed to make an impact with a limited role. Their chemistry is surprisingly good, with machan machan song having come out really well. Sana Khan, paired with the present day Silambarasan, has been largely sidelined by the main plot. Then there is the seasoned Prabhu, the able Kishore, the veterans Nedumudi Venu, Nirosha, Yuvarani etc. But in spite of having such a cast at his disposal, the director has failed to make an impact in many scenes. The talent of these artistes cannot be doubted, the fault has to be with way they were utilized. Santhanam and Karunas shoulder the comedy in the flashback and current modes respectively. There are certain lewd and at times unsavory dialogues that have been passed off as comedy, definitely in bad taste. But Karunas salvages pride for the comedy department with interestingly devised comic situations which blend in with the plot.
Highlights of the movie are undoubtedly Silambarasan’s dance skills and the foot tapping tunes. Silambarasan does not disappoint, nor does Yuvan. The Machan Machan song in Ilaiyaraja’s voice is a delight while ‘Where’s the party’ is a typically trendy pub number, thoroughly enjoyable. The action sequences too have been crafted well. But one gets the feeling that director Saravanan has relied too heavily on these elements to carry the weight of the movie, while the execution of a fairly good plot has left a lot to be desired though there are certain scenes (few and far in between) that reflect the director’s ability. Saravanan fails to join the list of cinematographers turned successful directors.
Overall, Silambattam is not a bad product, but it could have been a lot better had it not been for the lackluster handling. At the box office, Silambarasan fans might not feel let down by the content and regular additives, but when it comes down to the others, it’s a bit of touch and go. Saravanan, Silambarasan and the rest of the Silambattam team will have to wait and watch.
Verdict – Silambattam – Nothing special
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