s31

-Mani Prabhu

If Hari had to put together a resume, he could do well by stating his nature of work as ‘whoosh-movie-making’, if that means something at all. For the term ‘film-making’ doesn’t just feel right for him. We often laud people who think in terms of visuals as able filmmakers. Hari goes a step ahead and thinks in terms of fast-forwarded sequences that would mean nothing on paper, but ends up giving a hormone-reeking illusion of a plummeting house of cards. Unless you are someone visiting the theatres on a South Indian vacation, you would need no further clue-ins on the kind of ‘entertainment’ troupes that I am talking about. Si3, on that front, doesn’t try to spring a surprise.

And so, we can get this thing out of the way. If there was a contest at futility, any prospect of attempting to make sense of the endless onscreen mayhem would easily outsmart the half-expectation of Duraisingam shooting the villain off in the climax without speaking a single word. But since my profession doesn’t allow the luxury of leaving certain things for good at the theater, I guess we have to go about this somehow. Let me start by saying that the adrenaline-spurting mirage of the spuriously-racy screenplay works in the way Hari intends it to, for about twenty minutes in the second half, when the man almost corners us into a dizzy suspension of disbelief. Our eardrums are still in shreds on the floor, our logical minds screaming for mercy as they are resolutely tested for their snapping thresholds, but then it’s tough not to yield in to the guilty pleasures of this small segment. Its Hari settling down into a trashy rhythm well within his comfort zone, tempting us into ignoring the insane preposterousness of it all, particularly the fact that Suriya keeps morphing into a freakish CGI lion.

But elsewhere, outside of these twenty minutes, the movie is a pain. A physical one, at that. You could almost hear the ‘ouch’. The first one and half hours, in particular, where multiple cameras capture (in giddy angles) Suriya walking around Vizag with the faintest of conflicts, is the kind that makes you feel trapped inside a giant mixer grinder. The fish-eye lens keeps returning, making you doubt some kind of a near-death-experience. There is not a single relatable emotion transpiring on-screen. We keep waiting for all this ‘whoosh whoosh’ to mean something. Instead, we keep getting villains who seem to talk with fellowmen like they are trying to communicate with mankind from an alternate galaxy. We get Australian policemen who mouth lines like “We owe it to the Universal Cop!” We get Shruti Haasan who keeps wandering into the most random of scenes, as if she camps all day in the unlikeliest of street corners. We get Anushka, who enters the movie twice – once to serve the ‘Thaali’ sentiment on a platter and once again, for a dignified duet.  Well, come on, you can’t go singing “En Idhayam” sporting a bikini in the Alps, when you are married to a husband, who keeps telling woman to stay off police stations and pubs.

But even if you were to survive all this, Hari himself, in the garb of humour, delivers the coup de grâce. It’s not even bland. It’s revolting. But one man, Thakur Anoop Singh, amidst all these ordeals, keeps you alive – giggling to glory. For the main villain of a multi-crore flick, he gets a ROFL intro. He gets a ROFLMAO slang. But nothing can come close to the background lyrics he brings along… “Hey Everybody. Who is my daddy?”  Soori, who?