Seema Raja movie review: Ponram, Sivakarthikeyan's third collaboration aims high but misfires
The humour and the fun element seen in Ponram and Sivakarthikeyan's earlier films are totally missing in Seema Raja
Sivakarthikeyan’s Seema Raja does not live up to the hype. There was huge expectation when director Ponram and Sivakarthikeyan come together for the third time after their earlier comedy hit entertainers like Varuthapadatha Vaalibar Sangam and Rajini Murugan. The combo knew the pulse of the common man and had a flair for entertaining us even with stories that were formulaic and clichéd.
But the trouble here is that it is a cut and paste job by the director to make a commercial entertainer keeping Sivakarthikeyan’s current superstar image intact. The humour and the fun element seen in the earlier films are totally missing, as the period back story is thrust into the narrative.
Seema Raja (Sivakarthikeyan) is the heir to the royal family of Singampatti. His father (Napolean) is an upright former Zamindar who has a problem with a neighbouring Puliampatti village. Seema Raja is a happy-go-lucky young man, a wastrel who spends most of his time with his friend and accountant Kanakku (Soori) doing mostly nothing (hero characterisation is the same in all Ponram movies). He gets into fights (for the sake of a hero introduction scene) and chasing the local village school PT teacher Suthanthira Selvi (Samantha Akkineni), with whom he falls in love at first sight (followed by three pre-interval songs).
Selvi belongs to Puliyampatti, where Kaathadi Kannan (Lal) who has an axe to grind against Seema Raja and his family live with his villainous wife Kaaleeswari (Simran), who is hatching a plan to take farming land from villagers and build windmills on it. Our hero, after his father dies, is heartbroken as he could not fight the machinations of Kannan and Kaleeswari and becomes a changed man. Seema Raja gets influenced by his grandfather’s story (told in a flashback) about the valour of his ancestor — the great warrior Kadambaveera Raja (Sivakarthikeyan), who fought against Allaudin Khilji’s army. Similarly he decides to take on the villains and a North Indian tycoon (flies around in a private helicopter) who are planning to usurp Tamil Nadu farmers' land.
Sivakarthikeyan as usual steals the show with his terrific screen presence and comedy timing. The star also impresses in the period part of the film. To be honest, the crackling comedy seen when Sivakarthikeyan combines with comedian Soori is missing here, save for a scene where the pair tries to pass off a spotted dog as a leopard. Samantha looks good in the Silambam (stick fight) scenes, while Simran as the bad girl is miscast with a terrible dubbing voice. D Imman’s music is hummable.
Seema Raja has no basic story or structure and is a mishmash of scenes etched out of various Rajinikanth films (Muthu, Sivaji, Padayappa) and a period part which reminds you of Baahubali and Padmavat. The idea seems to be giving a boost to the image of Sivakarthikeyan at the expense of a proper story line. Sivakarthikeyan and Ponram template formula of something for everyone in the form of romance, songs, villainy, and family melodrama — all laced with a touch of comedy would have worked if there was a story to hang it on.
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