Language: Tamil

Cast: Samuthirakani, Thambi Ramaiah, Yuvan

Director: Anbazhagan

Saattai was a film that dealt with the issues revolving around a school, its students and our problematic education system. In its spiritual sequel Adutha Saattai, these students and their problems have now graduated to college and so has Dayalan (Samuthirakani) who has now become a college lecturer. Given how the actor plays a lecturer in most of his films, it’s not a characterisation you’d notice very easily but that’s not surprising in a film that thinks noble intentions alone will save it.

The issues the film tries to address are many; from hygiene to caste, from corrupt admissions to egoistic teachers, from the NEET exams to the plight of the Sri Lankan Tamil, from students committing suicide to the fast food being served in the canteen, from outdated teaching methods to how politicians wrongly influence students…it’s all in there. There’s nothing really in terms of plot or writing. The makers have, in a sense, kept it very simple. Show the problem, show a scene in which Dayalan talks about the problem followed by a scene where Dayalan lectures the students about this problem and a scene where all of them magically reform into angels. You repeat the same sequence 14 to 15 times and you get the rest of the movie.

A neatly-worded pamphlet would suffice to say everything this film is trying to. As a movie, it doesn’t even try to engage with the viewer like how Pariyerum Perumal or Nammavar did. There’s nothing you can call filmmaking and the writing has the flair you’d find in the user’s manual of a vacuum cleaner and it quickly becomes exhausting to sit through. Why can’t such directors pay a little attention to write real characters we can relate with to drive home the message? Shouldn’t they take some kind of an effort to make the film entertaining, at least to keep us from switching off? Do the makers really feel they can change the entire world just by making one preachy film? Am I starting to sound like Samuthirakani in one of these films? Great if I did. You too can now relate to what I went through sitting through this film.

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