Quick Review : Seethakaathi

by Rinku Gupta

Seethakaathi is Vijay Sethupathi's 25th film and there couldn't be a more apt choice than this for the Makkal Sylvan. Directed by Balaji Tharaneetharan who gave us the iconic Nadavala Konjam Pakathu Kaaanom  ( which brought to the limelight a cinematic gem called Vijay Sethupathi),helms this film produced by Passsion Studios.

Without giving away any spoilers, one can say that the film revolves around  Ayya Adhimoolam ( an aged and much revered theatre artist played by Vijay Sethupathy) who has spent his entire life on the stage. He doesn't believe in compromising with his love for the theatre and never succumbs to the charms of films, despite many offers and dwindling theatre lovers, as time wears on. Does Ayya, ever have to compromise and give in to the onslaught of the march of Time  and 'enter' films? How does his decision impact the entire film industry ?

Tharaneetharan has to be complimented on his choice of supporting cast members. Right from Mouli and Oorvasi Archana to Bagavathi Perumal, Rajkumar ( superb performances) newbie Sunil ( actor Vaibhav's elder brother, a gem of a find, makes his debut) to all the others, each actor is aptly chosen and leaves a lasting impression, no matter how brief an appearance. The expressions do the talking, and dialogue is kept only to portions necessary, resulting in a stronger impact. Sethupathi as Ayya is simply superb, mesmerising and all -encompassing in a story which has to be experienced in order  to be enjoyed to the fullest.

 Tharaneetharan's ingenuity and skill in presenting a new concept and keeping the audience engaged is exemplary. Kudos for thinking out -of -the -box instead of resorting to time-tested formulae at the box office. With Seethakathi, the viewer gets to experience a new realism mixed with the magical, a glimpse of theatre from the 1920's to the modern era ( superb performances by Sethupathi each time), a peek into the workings of cinema and the commerce behind the art.
Elements of dark comedy, humour, nostalgia and a fun, untried concept that strangely enough manages to tug at the heartstrings while bringing a smile to the lips, all reflect the director's love of the art of cinema and its primal source, theatre.
As Sethuupathi's 25th film, Seethakaathi brings us the actor in a never -seen-before avatar, his spirit  all -pervading, his presence constantly felt.
Music director Govind Vasantha's skills are on display especially in the  background score. Once the film releases it is sure to invite lot of discussion on various topics touched upon, being both, an entertainer and a profound take on the arts.

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