Every hero aspires to be a mass hero or superhero in films. One cannot grudge them that. But without the backing of a suitable script and role, it’s a futile effort. Exotic foreign locales for just song picturisation, designer clothes, and a couple of one-man fights forced in (as in this film), alone are not sufficient to make a superhero.
Without a suitable script and role, an actor who has managed to carve an enviable niche for himself with his own USP, could lose his coveted space and individuality, like Sasikumar in Bramman. Sasikumar looks most uncomfortable in his new makeover, as he tries to fit into the shoes designed by debutant director Socrates.
The film is deeply disappointing with its meandering screenplay, slipshod narration and superficially crafted characters. Set in Coimbatore, it’s about Shiva who had taken a theater on lease, screening old films. He and his buddy Kumar who had shared a passion for films in childhood, had been frequent visitors to that theatre. And Shiva was deeply attached to it. But with mounting debts, Shiva had to find a way to save it.
Santhanam is his buddy for comic relief, but there is not much going there. The love angle comes in the form of Gayatri (debutant Lavanya), chirpy in the earlier part.
The second half shifts to Chennai, where Shiva goes to meet childhood friend Kumar, now a renowned director of Telugu films (Naveen, taking his role a tad too seriously), to seek financial help. The meeting of the two buddies, out of touch for decades, promised an emotional interlude. But the director gets distracted by the goings on in the film industry. Too many issues are touched upon, like the plight of storywriters who are exploited and theaters running dubious films for survival. There is a lack of focus, clarity and consistency in screenplay and narration. Elements of love, friendship and sacrifice are all there, but since they lack depth, no emotion is sustained.
One remembers Cinema Paradiso, about the protagonist’s deep attachment to the cinema theater he had frequented in childhood, his lady-love married to his childhood friend etc. But that’s as far as the comparisons go. Bramman is a debutant maker’s intentions gone awry.