Sivappu Manjal Pachai movie review: Siddharth, GV Prakash's banter is the saving grace of this predictable affair
Director Sasi, after the blockbuster Pichaikkaran (2016), is back with Sivappu Manjal Pachai, a simple film on human relationships, loaded with sentiments and melodrama. Here we have Siddharth as a traffic cop, and GV Prakash as an illegal bike racer, who are pitted against each other in the streets of Chennai. But by a quirk of fate, Siddharth marries GV Prakash’s beloved elder sister, who brought him up, and the rest of the film is the emotional conflict that follows as GV refuses to acknowledge him as ‘Machan’ (brother-in-law) until the end scene.
Tamil film trade still loves the old ‘family that lives together stays together’ stories, a popular genre in the '80s and '90s. Popular heroes, who became superstars, used to be part of the ‘Amma (mother) sentiment’ or the ‘Thangachi (sister) sentiment’ and act in tearjerkers, full of melodrama, along with other commercial ingredients. These kinds of films used to draw family audiences in single screens across Tier-2 and 3 markets in Tamil Nadu. But with the advent of multiplexes, growing overseas markets, and the domestic new generation markets, the superstars stopped doing such films that milk sentiments, and work only at the Tamil Nadu box office.
Madhan (GV Prakash) is a youngster who is into illegal bike racing run by a betting syndicate on the busy streets of Chennai. His family and life revolves around is his elder sister Raji (Lijomol Jose), and they grew up as orphans under the care of their mother’s sister. Rajasekhar (Siddharth) is an upright honest traffic cop, who gave up a posting in the Intelligence Bureau to monitor the streets of Chennai, which according to him is the only caste-less place. One day, Rajasekhar catches Madhan for reckless illegal racing, shames and humiliates him, and puts a video of that on YouTube. By a quirk of fate, Rajasekhar gets into a marriage alliance with Raji, who is soon torn between her affection for her brother and love for her husband. And in the second half, a villain (Madhusoodanan), who controls the drug mafia is thrown in, to work out the ‘maman- machan’ sentiments.
The basic premise of Sivappu Manjal Pachai is taken out of Mani Ratnam’s super hit Agni Natchathiram (1988), where two step –brothers, Prabhu and Karthik, were pitted against each other. Alas, Sasi’s film does not have the same finesse or the packaging and music that made Agni Natchathiram memorable. The trouble with Sivappu Manjal Pachai is modern audience will be baffled by the behaviour of characters in such a film. Why should Siddharth bend over backwards to please the bratty behaviour of GV?
The bike racing scenes in the film are quite exciting though the CGI could have been better, as the audience today are used to the Fast and Furious franchise films in Tamil. And the long drawn-out climax fight is predictable as we know that the two lead characters will put aside their differences, and join hands to fight the villain.
However, what makes it tick and watchable is the performance of its lead actors, especially Siddharth. He has come out with a mature performance, and is at ease doing a difficult role with subtlety. GV catches your attention in the bike racing scenes. Lijomol is another fine find from Malayalam cinema.
But it is high time Sasi moves from the comfort of his ‘family formula’ films, and tries something new.
Updated Date: Sep 07, 2019 11:48:37 IST