Sindhubaadh movie review: Vijay Sethupathi-SU Arun Kumar's latest collaboration is a bloated dud
Vijay Sethupathi's latest film, Sindhubaadh, has been directed by SU Arun Kumar, who made the immensely likable Pannaaiyarum Padminiyum (2014) and the super hit Sethupathi (2016).
Vijay Sethupathi was an actor who had a reputation for doing unconventional roles and taking a daringly different approach to commercial cinema. He was willing to experiment and do films in various genres and was the patron saint of new age Tamil cinema. However, after the industry created a halo around him as a bankable star with a minimum guarantee, he started doing multiple films, and in the process seems to have lost his script sense.
His latest film, Sindhubaadh, has been directed by SU Arun Kumar, who made the immensely likable Pannaaiyarum Padminiyum (2014) and the super hit Sethupathi (2016) with the actor. This time, he has tried to transform Sethupathi into a typical Tamil larger-than-life mass hero. It’s hard to digest Sethupathi turning into a one-man demolition squad like a Sylvester Stallone or closer home like Rajinikanth, who takes on a dreaded mafia which deals in organ traffic in Thailand. And keeping him company is his real life son Surya Sethupathi, who plays the role of his buddy, Super.
The film starts somewhere in an estate in Malaysia where a group of women from Tamil Nadu are employed in a rubber plantation. Their families back home have sent them there as contract labourers, and live off their income. One of them, Venba (Anjali), decides to go back home to get married and arrives in Tenkasi, where she finds that her family, including her brother-in-law, want to live off her income.
Cut to two local petty thieves Thiru (Vijay Sethupathi), who is a tad deaf and his assistant —a young boy called Super (Surya Sethupathi). They make a living as pickpockets and are always on the run. One day, Thiru accidentally meets Venba and falls for her. She conveniently falls for him as she wants to escape from her family. They get dramatically married at the airport as Vemba flies back alone to Malaysia. The next time Thiru hears from her, she pleads with him to come to Thailand pay a ransom and rescue her. After pledging his house and getting a fake passport, Thiru goes with Super to Thailand to rescue his wife in 36 hours.
The first half of the film set in Tenkasi is breezy and has many comic moments which bring out the bonding between Thiru and Super. The initial conflict between Thiru and Vemba which leads to love provides some lighter moments in the film too. But by the time the action shifts to Thailand, the film not only loses its focus but also becomes boring and unbelievable. It has a weakly written villain, played by Linga, who is always trying to be menacing and runs a human skin trade in Thailand. Anjali as usual is cute and does her limited role with earnestness, while Surya Sethupathi is impressive with some smart one-liners.
Sindhubaadh is nowhere near the director-actor duo’s previous outings and seems to be a rushed job. There are so many loopholes in the script, which make it seem half-baked — as if getting Vijay Sethupathi’s dates were more important than the story.
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