Why Singam was accepted
critics, creators, hardcore fans or even people
who watch 4 to 5 films a year would have sensed
that Tamil cinema has been moving on a different
track in the last couple years where people have
started preferring realism over commercial flicks.
Commercial attempts from the big guns of the industry
have struggled to become even average earners
in recent times. Here comes an important question.
Does it really mean the end of the road for commercial
No says Singam, which was thoroughly accepted
with great response. Singam’s response is
a clear message from fans that still they like
commercial cinema provided they get good output.
Let us analyze the reasons why Singam was accepted.
One grouse that the average film viewer has against
commercial flicks is the fact that it challenges their
intelligence, almost taking the audience’s acceptance
of any improbable occurrence for granted. Well, times
have changed and even in an unabashedly commercial flick,
people have started expecting intelligence. It is when
this factor goes missing that a commercial film starts
looking dumb. Hari has however been careful to make
a script that does not have too many improbable moments.
The movie has its moments of intelligence (not in the
Sherlock Holmes league) and that elevates it from being
just another mish mash of fights and songs. Of course,
there are also moments where you have to let go of the
constant search for ‘logic’. Tata Sumo manufacturers
might not be too amused seeing their roof being cracked
open from inside with a few blows. And, was there a
need to superimpose a lion on screen whenever Suriya
leapt in the air to pin down his rival. But, such minor
moments of improbability apart, Hari has respected the
intelligence and discretion of the audience which is
perhaps the biggest strength of the movie.
2. No time for guesswork:
Even Hari would not claim that Singam treads on a novel
path. In fact, the cop-goon face off might be one of
the most used commercial premises in Tamil cinema. And,
any regular follower of Tamil cinema will not have much
difficulty in guessing the direction in which the story
is moving, especially because Hari himself has directed
a top class cop movie before, Saamy. The Saamy effect
could be seen in a few scenes in SIngam too. All these
would actually have served as drawbacks to any movie.
But, Hari converts them all to his advantages on the
strength of his screenplay that never lets go off the
throttle. Right from the word go, Hari puts his foot
down on the accelerator, maintaining a pace that never
really allowed a viewer to dwell too much on the proceedings.
In short, the pace of the movie did not give anyone
enough time to guess what the next move would be. Hari
converted a predictable plot into an unpredictable movie
with the pace in his screenplay.
I would also like to mention a few more things which
I feel is worth appreciating
Hey, yes there is a heroine- It is
so nice to see that at least there was some scope for
heroine in a commercial film. Though there is not much
scope in the story, the screenplay takes care of it
and makes sure that Anuskha was not just a dancing doll.
And it is also worth to mention here that the heroine
has done a fair job.
Punchy Dialogues- There were quite
a few dialogues that were actually monologues mouthed
by the protagonist, some of them clearly aimed at boosting
the invincible image of the character. Remember ‘ongi
adichcha onnara tonne weight’ or the ‘pasikkaga
pongal thirdunavana mannikalam, aana rusikkaga payasathe
thiruduravana mannikka mudiyathu’. But, in spite
of being image boosting theatrical lines, one never
felt that they were over the top. Credit for that goes
to Hari’s direction and Suriya’s delivery.
It is not easy to make such dialogues look and feel
acceptable, but the team was up to the task.
Suriya’s body language- There
is no doubt Suriya’s body language has taken a
step up in the ladder. Either in showing his angry face
in confrontational scenes or being a simple and responsible
cop in his village, Suriya has really justified his
role in the film. I could also see that his dancing
skills keep improving along with his body language.
Ooops’ thanks Sun Pictures- When
Sun Pictures gets into the 'get' game all we know is
we are going to get intensive marketing for the film.
Sun Pictures, in a short while has earned a reputation
for being aggressive and intensive in their marketing
approach. There has also been the odd noise about their
tactics being redundant. But when it came to Singam,
after a telecast of a grand audio launch, we got to
see different trailers with in the week before it got
released which gave a break to our remote controls.
And there is no question that now they could make a
super hit film into a mega hit.
On the flip side, one wishes the screenplay could have
given some more scope for Prakash Raj. After all he
is one of the best actors in the country. Singam would
have been a much better product if his role had been
enhanced. But, that is wisdom in hindsight.
Although the genre of films and the impact are different
I still like to mention that Hari is providing good
balance to Suriya’s career, much like KSR has
provided to Kamal.
Note: there are some things about Singam
that are much too similar to Saamy. Being an intelligent
and experienced filmmaker, Hari could have avoided these
1. In Saamy, the lead protagonist’s name is Aarusaamy
while in Singam it is Duraisingam. In both cases, it
is the second half of the protagonist’s name that
is the title of the film.
2. Saamy ends with the tagline, ‘Saamiyin vettaikal
thudarum’, while Singam ends with ‘Singathin
Mere coincidences or conscious decisions? Its your call.
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