Review By : Movie Run Time : 2 hours 53 minutes Censor Rating : U

Production: Passion Studios Cast: Archana, Gayathrie, J Mahendran, Parvathy Nair, Rajkumar, Remya Nambeesan, Vijay Sethupathi Direction: Balaji Tharaneetharan Screenplay: Balaji Tharaneetharan Story: Balaji Tharaneetharan Music: Govind Vasantha Background score: Govind Vasantha Cinematography: Saraskanth TK Editing: R. Govindaraj Lyrics: Madhan Karky, Thiagarajan Kumararaja

*** This review is spoilers free ***

After Naduvula Konjam Pakkatha Kaanom, director Balaji Tharaneetharan is back with his next film Seethakaathi. This is Vijay Sethupathi's 25th film and is produced by Passion Studios. Read ahead to know how the film has fared.

Seethakaathi depicts and talks about Ayya Aadhimoolam (Vijay Sethupathi) and his life as an esteemed theatre artiste. The film is the journey of a legend through his life. Director Balaji has packed this up with loads of surprises and fantasy elements that you will barely expect.

First up, Balaji Tharaneetharan deserves praise for intertwining a serious thin line of a story with a screenplay that has multiple elements including drama, sentiment, fantasy, and mainly comedy. The set up is a piece of art. Fine art. Though it takes a while for the film to settle into the main conflict, the element of surprise is worth a wait. The initial forty minutes is eaten up by exquisitely shot theatre sequences, and once the comical mood settles in, there's no stopping this ride.

The work of music director Govind Vasantha in these portions is just stunning. He uses the earthiest of tones to effortlessly accompany the mood of the screenplay. The flute and violin stand out and they sound enchanting. Two songs make it to the first half and are both used as montages, causing zero damage to the flow of the film. Even in the comedy sequences, the music plays an important role and how! In addition, the sound has been captured very well. The film is made on live sound, and has been executed convincingly without hindrances.

Saraskanth, the cinematographer has done a job that is highly praiseworthy. The subtle yet powerful details are in abundance. The detailing is very specific, especially the usage of reflections and shadows. There are some very meaningful shots and nothing seems extra or unnecessary. There is an 8-minute single shot scene in the initial part of the film and the way the camera flows through the scene is beautiful. Kudos to Govindaraj, the editor as well. His cuts are very neat and some shots, seemingly fillers, added a lot of value to the scenes.

Director Balaji and Govind Vasantha seem to have worked in tandem, as their work stands out. There are scenes where the shift in mood is very evident. These scenes have been constructed very smartly and the music plays a major role in it. The idea of the film is something special and it works. The initial 40 minutes could seem to be a drag, without any commercial compromises, but the time taken to establish Ayya's character, is what helps it last eternally.

The latter part of the first half is full and full comical and it works like a charm. The fun element is great and the director retains his comedy touch from his debut film. But the problem arises when a similar situation arises in the second half. Though still funny and full of energy, it could seem redundant. All the actors in the film have done a commendable job, and to deliver dialogues in live sound is not easy. However, they all make it seem so.

Coming to Ayya. Rather, Vijay Sethupathi. This film is special to him in many ways. Mainly being his 25th project and him playing the role of a 73-year-old theatre artiste. The prosthetic make up is very good and the camera picks up it's intricacies, making it a delight to notice. He proves that he is the epitome of dedication and the slightest of details are great to see. His body language, breathing pattern, minute twitches in his face and his voice are bang on, making it thoroughly believable. This performance of his will be remembered for a long time. Just like Ayya!

On the whole, Seethakaathi is an interesting film that has an even mix of art and fine commercial moments.

[Review based on a special preview show to the press members on December 17th. Catch the film in theatres, from the 20th of December]


Verdict: Seethakaathi has some great moments. Watch it for the fantastical idea and Vijay Sethupathi.


3 5 ( 3.0 / 5.0 )






Seethakaathi (aka) Seethakathi

Seethakaathi (aka) Seethakathi is a Tamil movie. Archana, Gayathrie, J Mahendran, Parvathy Nair, Rajkumar, Remya Nambeesan, Vijay Sethupathi are part of the cast of Seethakaathi (aka) Seethakathi. The movie is directed by Balaji Tharaneetharan. Music is by Govind Vasantha. Production by Passion Studios, cinematography by Saraskanth TK, editing by R. Govindaraj.