Movie - Siruthai (Tamil)
Director - Siva
Producer - KE Gnanavel Raja
Cast - Karthi, Santhanam, Thamanna, Baby Rakshana and a whole bunch of Telugu villains and supporting actors/junior artistes
Music - Vidyasagar
Cinematography - S Velraj
Editing - VT Vijayan
Stunts - Ganesh
Art - Rajeevan
Screenplay - Siva
Release Date - 14th January 2011
Siruthai is the Tamil remake of the Ravi Teja starrer Vikramarkudu which was a blockbuster directed by SS Rajamouli in Telugu. And it is done clearly with the objective of bringing out the star in Karthi. And what his elder brother Suriya got to do in two distinct films like Singam and Pithamagan, Karthi gets to do in the same film, in the form of a double role. And it is only because of him, that this movie is worth watching.
Rocket Raja (Karthi) is a happy go lucky young man who makes a living out of conning people and picking pockets in Chennai along with his aide Kaattu Poochi (Santhanam). He meets a pretty young lady Shwetha (Tamannah) during one of his escapades and falls in love with her. In the meanwhile, there are a whole bunch of Telugu rowdies who are on the lookout for a cop Rathnavel Pandian (Karthi again) whom they thought was dead, but is still alive. Raja steals a container from a Rajasthani lady and finds that instead of gold, there was a girl child inside and she identifies him as her father. Raja is bewildered and later comes to know that she is the daughter of a person who looks exactly like him - Rathnavel Pandian. How Raja's life becomes intertwined with that of the honest cop's is the story of Siruthai.
The movie starts with a disclaimer saying that the setting is a remote area in Andhra Pradesh, hence justifying the behaviour of the very loud and and exaggerated villains in the movie. Siruthai has a distinct Telugu feel to it, except in the portions that are shot in Chennai. The villains, supporting characters and junior artistes and even the locations are mostly from Andhra, that we sometimes forget that we're watching a Tamil movie. But leaving all that, and another major factor called logic aside, this movie is all about its leading man and his ability to convince the audience that all the silly stuff that is happening in the movie actually did happen. And that, Karthi does with elan. Every damn formula is in place, and this movie solely rests on the charm of its leading man to pull them off well. I had an issue with the portrayal of Malayalis in the movie. During a wedding, we see a Malayali man with a 'kondai' and a weird hairdo right out of the vadakkan pattu movies and in another scene we see two sluts dressed in traditional Malayali attire of blouse and pavada. Such kind of looking down upon Malayalis were not needed at all. We're not like that and its high time people from other states understood that.
Karthi is absolutely fantastic. He makes you laugh hysterically with his rollicking as the pickpocket Rocket Raja and gives you an adrenalin rush each time he appears as Rathnavel Pandian IPS. He handles both these distinct characters effortlessly, but it is certainly Rocket Raja that wins your heart. His scenes with Santhanam and Tamanna are hilarious and it is his entry towards the climax is what makes the movie lively despite the whole Rathnavel Pandian episode in the second half. The problem with the cop role is that he is too much of a superhero and that seems slightly cliched having seen umpteen number of films with the same characterizations. But Karthi is sincere towards it and it comes out effectively too. Just that if the character could have been developed in an innovative way, it would have made a lot of difference. Santhanam is hilarious as Raja's sidekick Kaattu Poochi. After Boss Engira Bhaskaran with Arya, he has struck a great rapport with Karthi on screen and each scene with the both of them together is a riot. Tamanna looks great and plays the regular dumb heroine who comes at the right times for romance, songs and in the end, to get kidnapped by the villain so that the hero can rescue her in the climax fight. The cute little Baby Rakshana does well too. All the other actors are all right out of Telugu Cinema and everything about them is so Telugu flavoured that it is weird hearing them speak Tamil. Even the villains are no great shakes except that they're really scary looking.
Vidyasagar has constantly been disappointing with his music off late. What happened to the great composer who used to give only gems till not so long ago. Only 'Rocket Raja' sounds good in the entire movie. Background score (by whoever it is) was effective. Cinematography went well with the requirement of the film. Art Director Rajeevan showed his creativity in Rocket Raja's hangout where he has kept stolen stuff ranging from a telephone booth to a police road block. Editor VT Vijayan has managed to keep up the pace of the movie throughout. It doesnt lag anywhere at all. Stunts by Ganesh were great to watch. The dialogues and the comic situations in the first half and towards the end of the second half were hilarious and due credit must go to the makers of the original for that.
On the whole, Siruthai is a mindless masala entertainer which works mostly because of its leading man Karthi's charm. It may not match up to the masala-ness of its original (for people who've seen it), but it is certainly enjoyable for people who like this genre of movies. Watch it for the star in Karthi, Santhanam's comedy and of course, the guilty pleasure of watching an escapist masala entertainer.
Rating - 3/5