Director: Shankar Dayal
Cast: Karthi, Prakashraj, Santhanam, Pranitha, Nasser, Radhika, Kiran and others
The work of a debutant in 'Saguni' is yet another film where personal vendetta turns into a fight for a social cause. The director, taking a jibe at contemporary politics and the survival games of unscrupulous politicians, weaves in a tale of a small town youth who comes to Chennai to solve a personal problem. How he uses the corrupt political system to his advantage and gives the power hungry chief minister Bhupati a taste of his own medicine forms the crux of the plot.
The early scenes move at a smooth pace where Kamala Kannan alias Kamal comes to Chennai to appeal to Bhupati (good work by Prakashraj) to save his ancestral home. It was to be demolished to make way for a railway project.
The encounters between Kamal and Appadurai alias ‘Rajni’, an auto driver, generates some fun moments. The play on the names has some witty one-liners, Karthi and Santhanam sharing a delightful screen chemistry. With the CM backtracking from his assurances given earlier, Kamal decides to teach him a lesson.
His romance with cousin Sridevi (a charming Pranitha) is sporadically thrust into the narration. It was as if the director had suddenly remembered that the glamour quotient had to be taken care of too!
The first half is breezy, humorous and engaging. It’s in the second half that the screenplay falters, the narration moving in bits and pieces as the hero selects his pawns in the larger game of toppling Bhupati. Kamal gives tips to a small time godman (Nasser) on how to market himself; he goads the rowdy idly; seller Ramani Achi (an impressive Radhika) to stand for the councillor’s election against Bhupati’s mistress (Kiran); and manipulates Perumal, leader of a political outfit, to go for the CM’s chair. Kamal’s route to achieve his aim seems long winded, and verbal, all his intended victims gullible and convinced by his mere talk.
Logic and sensibility take a back seat here, monotony setting in. At one point when he is informed that he has just about lost his ancestral home, he says with surprising callousness ‘never mind if it is gone’.
So much for his mission to the city, and the build-up on how his whole joint family was so deeply attached to their home!
But what keeps the interest from totally waning is Karthi. His cheerful warm disposition, the mischievous glint in his eyes, and his involvement and consistency despite the script’s inadequacies, makes him a delightful watch.
The film reminds you of the Satyaraj-starrer 'Amaidhipadai', sans its intriguing plotting, sharp characterization and its satirical brilliance. 'Saguni' is at the most a passable entertainer.