Director: G.N. Dinesh Kumar
Cast: Sarath Kumar, Old Sarath Kumar with white beard, Younger old Sarath Kumar in French beard and hat (the spy look), Young Sarath with dyed beard pretending to be old Sarath Kumar, Namitha, Farzana, Radha Ravi
Storyline: Scientist son of a Nattamai-looking head of fishing hamlet goes to Malaysia to clear the name of his dead father who had a deadlier past – he was James Bond or something.
Bottomline: Formula re-written for the zillionth time since 1977.
It’s always wonderful to sit back and watch any action film with Captain or Sarath Kumar. Forget criticising, even analysing the genre would be a cardinal sin. Who can forget Captain lying on ice, sporting only his boxers and enjoying the chill in Narasimha, forcing the villains to employ the shock treatment torture technique. But, only to have a nearby transformer explode and Captain deliver the knockout punchline: “Narasimhavukku current kudutha antha currentukkey shock adikkumda” (Even electricity would get a shock if it touches Narasimha). One will have to be a Class A moron to try and pass judgement on such fare.
1977 begins with a build-up for Raasaiyya (and you don’t have to be a genius to figure they are talking about Sarath) before goons descend at the fishing hamlet and burn the fish. The twist: Raasaiyya is a non-violent, bearded old man who has probably just seen Mani Ratnam’s Bombay the previous night. He douses himself with petrol and asks the goons to burn him, only to make them fall on his feet and beg for forgiveness.
Enter his son, scientist (Youth Sarath) who receives a hero’s welcome home (dancers form a circle around him and shower him with petals as he walks around with a smile). After donating his white blazer to an old man and sidey shades to an old woman, youth Sarath pays tribute to his Mom’s shrine (two bangles placed over the letter T) at home with old Sarath as Chinese music fused with S.A. Rajkumar-type pathos chorus take over the sentimental reunion.
While the son is away getting a Scientist award from the President, the father chances upon a newspaper with an advertiser’s feature on Malaysia. He immediately hams, runs in and rushes out with a suitcase and falls asking for water. A man with a bad wig runs in to get a sombu, only to drop it. Cut to old Sarath with coin on head.
Curious to unravel the mystery, youth Sarath leaves to Malaysia and immediately bumps into Fat Girl 1 (Farzana) and soon, they roll on the floor for a bit and kiss accidentally as it normally and regularly happens in most Captain/Sarath movies.
Again, the twist: Sarath and girl both carry the same kind of handbag (cuz Sarath is metrosexual hero who also wears pink often) and the bags get swapped after their collision. His has bottles of pickle and hers has a spare bra. And hero-heroine meet for first date.
Yes, so the girl is that kind of heroine who bites her lips when even accidentally touched by our hero. We also find out why she’s fat when we hear her order food: “Sandwich with lots of fries and chips.” But soon, the date is interrupted by a mentally ill old woman who tries to stabs Sarath with a fork but ends up injuring fat girl.
Given their mutual affinity for pink, the pair breaks into a duet. Malaysian bikini babes prance around at the beach as Sarath walks in with a flowery shirt, buttons open, flaunting his Mr. Madras chest hair and man boobs.
We soon learn that old Sarath was a prisoner serving a sentence for the massacre of over a hundred innocent people. We understand that the lawyer who won that case was long dead but had a daughter – lawyer Chandni, the director refuses to show us the clichéd court scenes and smartly opts to show us Fat Girl 2 (Namitha) cavorting in the water, as the chorus goes: Oh hot stuff, get ready for me.
But Namitha is an actor of substance. Since she wants to be taken seriously as a lawyer, though she has a plunging neckline, she has a lawyer’s collar around her neck falling into it. “My father was the king of law,” she says, insisting that old Sarath was probably guilty.
We aren’t told explicitly but maybe later that night, young Sarath probably caught a rerun of Moonru Mugam on TV. So, he sticks a beard, smokes from a pipe and walks in like older Sarath into a Don’s lair and almost succeeds in stealing a drink before the bad guy opens fire and an action sequence breaks out to heavy metal score.
Youth Sarath then learns that all the people who had given evidence against his father are now brain-dead and only a medical miracle can bring them back and you begin to fear if Best Scientist will automatically translate to being Best Doctor.
To boost his political image (he uses his party flag in the film), Sarath also believes in equality and wears clothes of the same colour and material as his heroines. Being an action hero, all he has to do is fight, get injured and soak in the loving as the competition between the girls in Large and the Extra-large costumes heats up and the former observes: Iva speeda paatha first-aid ille, first nightey mudichiduva. (At the speed she’s going, she’ll finish first night before first-aid)
The much awaited reunion scene between mother and son happens when she tells him: “Naan Un Amma. Nee yen pulle da.”
The flashback tells us that father Sarath used to be James Bond incarnate. As an honest police officer, he dodges a bullets by simply staring at it and sends the villain to jail causing the bad guy to open fire in public and frame honest cop for it.
Since, there’s not too much time left for the climax, one more song is sneaked in to show Sarath with a shaved chest and body art and the lyrics go: “Frig it up, come on.”
Go with a bunch of friends, and you will crack up every two minutes and go home laughing so hard, craving for the only thing that can be better than a Sarath action film – a Captain action film.
At the risk of sounding greedy, I would so like a T.Rajenddher action film.