Why Singam was accepted

Film 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 cinema?

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.

1. Logic:

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 similarities/

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 vettai thudarum’.

Mere coincidences or conscious decisions? Its your call.

Respond to

Behindwoods is not responsible for the views of columnists.

Does the film industry need QC!
The other side of our celebrities!
Did VTV trivialize love?
Thamizh Padam’s only cliché!
Politics and cinema: the twin brothers!
Freedom of expression: The changing dimensions!
Oh Vikram, where art thou?
Fourth Dimension
Spoilt on hype: Kollywood following IPL
Heroines and the blame game!
Simple lessons in Tamil movies!
Seventh Sense
Why Singam was accepted
Silambarasan Missing
It’s time for fans to act
Jo's Space
Television or Voyeur?
Goa Signals….
The Divorce - Why?
The New Kollywood
If Aamir had played fair, would    Asin have cried foul?
Slumdog Millionaire –    Unentertaining, Laughable and    Annoying!