Santhanam

Language: Tamil

Cast: Santhanam, MS Bhaskar, Tara-Alisha Berry, Rajendran

Director: K. Johnson

Divya (a fun Tara-Alisha Berry), the female lead in A1: Accused No.1 is a character written by a man who has probably never met a real woman in his life. She’s single and looking to mingle, but the kind of guy she’s after isn’t someone she can find on Tinder, Bumble or Bharat Matrimony. Not only does he have to be an Iyer (an Iyengar too would pass), but he also needs to be able to save her from a bunch of goons if they were to harass her. Just to be sure, she even arranges for these goons to attack her, just so she can test the brevity of potential suitors. So when a naamam-sporting Saravanan (Santhanam doing Santhanam-like things) lands up on the scene to beat up these angry boxers, wearing a pair of, er, boxers, Divya feels she has found her one true Parthasarathy.

 

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She’s extremely qualified too, she declares to Saravanan to seal the deal. She can sing, she earns a lakh a month, and she even cook thayir saadam…five completely different varieties of it! She’s also very “outgoing” in the way she force-kisses Saravanan to prove her love for him. The only catch is that she sounds annoyingly like the lovechild of Asin from Dasavatharam and Pooja Kumar from Vishwaroopam after they’ve simultaneously dumped Kamal Haasan for each other.

But there’s another catch too. Saravanan isn’t really a Brahmin. He is a mutton-soup drinking, TASMAC hopping ‘localu’ her father just cannot accept. But she’s willing to overlook this under one condition. She dares Saravanan to find one negative quality in her father. You get where I’m going with how her character is written?

The thing is, it’s a film that’s impossible to take seriously with a wild laugh every five minutes or so. Like the scene where a drunk relative violently stabs his enemy with…a banana. Or that hilarious cameo by Mottai Rajendran where he plays a gangster who specialises in blackmailing people with CCTV footage. Santhanam too is back to what he does best with his own unique brand of insult comedy, though he’s far more inoffensive.

Does the story make sense? Not for a second. In fact the whole second half plays out like one long Lollu Sabha sketch. Do the characters have arcs? Not even remotely. Are some of the jokes stereotypical to the point of being offensive? Hell yes! But is the film funny? You’d almost pee in your komanam.

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