Usually, I love my job. But there times my love for the screen gets severely tested. I had one of those tests five minutes into Jiiva-Rathina Siva’s Seeru. The film begins with two women on a drive during the night. There’s dispensable small talk about Ilaiyaraaja, and then they are stopped by a few ‘policemen’, who confiscate their phones and keys, and begin to misbehave with them. One woman gets away, runs to the car, and digs out another phone.
She begins calling people, but to no avail. She then leaves a voice message in a WhatsApp group. And in a few minutes, Manimaran (Jiiva) comes running to save these women. The women amp up his arrival with dialogues like, “Avan vadhutan. Mudinja avana jeichitu thirumba vaa, naanga ready a irukom.” The funny part is, they don’t know who is coming or even who Manimaaran is. So how did he get their message? Why is he in a random WhatsApp group with these women? After the mandatory fight, they thank Manimaaran who replies likening his assistance to a mole on the back. “You can’t see it but it will bring you help when you need it.” And that’s when I began laughing because I realised there was no other way I was going to survive this film.
Manimaaran runs a local cable TV channel, but he is Mayavaram’s BBC. Even politicians are afraid of him. Our man can do anything in a snap: shut down factories run by politicians, close TASMAC shops. I would have been okay if the film had no logic, but got its commercial metre right. However, the writing here is just sad. Guess how Malli (Varun), a hitman, is introduced? “Ivan photo va pathu podravan illa. Aala potutu photo va pathu confirm panravan.” The conversation between Malli and Manimaran is downright hilarious. Malli calls Manimaran and makes someone else hurl abuses at him. According to Malli, if he calls back and does the same, he is ‘mokka’. However, if he calls up and speaks patiently, then he is ‘sharp-u’. Manimaaran, in a twist, makes old ladies hurl abuses at him. Somehow, this means our hero has one-upped the guy. How, exactly? I am not sure.
The film follows the commercial template to the T, though. It begins with a fight as I mentioned, so next, there has to be an unnecessary song. Some mumbo-jumbo about friends being one’s actual family, and hey, it is time for a fight. Some more mumbo-jumbo about a pregnant sister who has a health condition. But how do we include a song now? Oh, I know, let’s bring in the heroine. Let’s make her kick bikes in a parking stand and hide in the men’s restrooms because it is ‘cute’. And then, the love song. Once the song is done, we need a fight, so let’s bring back Malli. Some inane conversation, and now Malli is hurt. We need another villain, so let’s bring in a corrupt lawyer (Navdeep) For songs? Bring in a student who is affected by the lawyer.
Why? Because she spoke ill of him on TV. And voila! You have the screenplay of Seeru.Making a ‘masala film’ doesn’t mean that one can sell anything and expect the audience to lap it up. The lack of coherence or effort in this film is blasphemous. And it is just disheartening to see able actors like Jiiva in such projects. The actor, in a recent interview with us, said films like Seeru are safe bets for all parties involved. I guess, he wasn’t talking about the audience.