Language: Tamil

Cast: Vaibhav, Pallak Lalwani, Sathish

Director: Chachi

I was wondering if the title, Sixer, had anything to do with the hero’s job. After all, it stars Vaibhav, and he’s mostly known for his collaborations with Venkat Prabhu in Tamil cinema. And what’s Prabhu’s claim to fame if not the funniest cricket-based movies, Chennai 600028 and its sequel (Mankatha, too, but that’s irrelevant here). Vaibhav was a part of the second installment of the ensemble comedy. So, I thought he’d play a cricketer who couldn’t win the matches for his team during the night games in Sixer.

But director Chachi doesn’t go that far really. Sixer is just a shortened version of “Six Error” and that means the hero, Aadhi (Vaibhav), turns blind after 6 PM. This piece of information isn’t explained through dialogues. You learn to connect the two after watching a slide appear during the interval. This tiny bit of inaneness reminds me of the anecdote that Alex gives for naming his stand-up comedy show Alex in Wonderland. In the recently released (on Prime) special, the comedian speaks about his inspiration—Alice in Wonderland—with incandescent pleasure. However, the director of this Tamil film makes the title look like he has penned an entire film with a three-point purpose: to make the audience laugh (once in a while), to make the audience groan, and to make the audience give up their faith in the capabilities of run-of-the-mill stories.

Moreover, Sixer comes nowhere close to Alex’s steady flow of jokes. There’s a hero-plus-character-introduction scene where Aadhi runs through all the different things that are on his way and sits on the motorbike with a plonk. He needs to reach home before the clock strikes 6. So, perhaps, as an added measure, he chooses the city’s traffic-free roads to arrive at his doorstep. (There’s also an old woman narrating his larger-than-life persona to a couple of extras in a vegetable market as though she’s talking about a noble human). And upon entering his modestly furnished home, where he lives with his parents, the first thing he does is curse at his grandfather (a framed picture of Goundamani to refer to his character in Chinna Thambi).

Aadhi’s night blindness is mostly used for punch lines. We’re not meant to sympathize with his disorder. We’re only meant to laugh at his helplessness. This works, considering the landscape the movie is set in; but when it tries to become an action comedy by throwing in a few rowdies at random places to make Aadhi seem more powerful, Sixer dies due to its own pressure.

Is there anything new about the rowdies and their nefarious activities? No! Is there anything new about how Aadhi wins the love of his life in the climax? No! Is there anything new about the bar song where the hero and his friends kick up a ruckus? No! Psst, it’s not even half as fun as the “Address Song” in Meyaadha Maan! And if you think that Sathish will save the day, the joke’s on you. Sample this: Aadhi and his sidekick (obviously, played by Sathish) barge into a TV studio to question Krithika (Pallak Lalwani) for making the former the cynosure of all eyes via a comedy of errors. But they find a guy in her place and Sathish’s character makes use of the opportunity to rough him up, instead (Tamil cinema’s slapstick, if you will!). When the guy yells, “Naan aambala (I’m a man),” the best line that the hero’s friend comes up with is, “Naan nambala (I don’t believe you, which half-heartedly rhymes with the word, aambala).”

He’s apparently beating him up as he thinks his victim is Krithika. The original Krithika, though, walks in slow-motion towards Aadhi twenty seconds later. If they were on the street, flowers would have fallen on her from the sky and the hero would have imagined tying the thaali around her neck with the sounds of the nadaswaram playing in the background. But the studio atmosphere doesn’t allow him to go bonkers!

The “mokkai” in Sixer is too uncooked to be enjoyed and you can’t blame Sathish, or Vaibhav, for this, as the director is equally (actually, more) responsible for the mishap. And the only difference about the portrayal of “loosu ponnu” in this movie is that she’s not a college student. She’s a TV reporter (not the sort that Amala Paul played in Aadai). Krithika is the kind of journalist that doesn’t check facts before reporting, but in a movie where the characters endlessly chew on uninteresting banter, what can you expect her to do?

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