Sigaram Thodu Movie Review: If Only!

A pragmatic son of an honest handicapped cop realizes his true calling in the police force in the final moments of Gaurav’s Sigaram Thodu. In probably the tensest moments of the film, he busts an ATM scamming racket with some intelligently conceived sleuthing. Seems exciting, right? Well, it must have been, IF ONLY had he not been fooling around meaninglessly with his ‘trying hard to be funny’ friend and ‘trying hard to be cute’ girlfriend for the first ninety minutes of the movie. By then he had already shaken a leg once while following his girl down the street, force kissed the girl on a flight, and had walked the picturesque mountains for a romantic duet.  As if the clichés were felt insufficient, some melodrama is staged involving the loving dad. Not to forget, this is happening at near the hundredth minute mark.  We are like ‘Dude,start the film at least now!’ Thankfully, the writing and the film happen to reach the zenith soon after.

Sigaram Thodu PosterInterestingly, Sigaram Thodu for a film in the ‘commercial’ space is not lazily made. In fact, Gaurav sometimes goes overboard with his penchant for innovation and shot making gimmicks. The abundance of  the point of view shots work well and the scene flow is inventively written but soon it becomes an overkill when we have too many people in disconnected situations talking seemingly ‘connected’ dialogues. But the real problem with Sigaram Thodu is the director’s lack of confidence in his ability to narrate a taut thriller staying true to the mood and context inherent to the genre, which forces him to pad out the running time with unnecessary songs and uninspiring romance. He starts off with promise, but soon loses steam and goes the formulaic way. When he comes back to the plot close to the interval, we have had enough of unwanted and bland ‘masala’. Why do young directors like Gaurav feel the need to play to the gallery, when they have a knot with such great potential? Beats me.

So what should have probably been a tight Mysskinish investigative thriller comes across as a KS.Ravikumar movie trying to tick off every possible segment of the audience. Not that it’s a downright write-off, but you can’t but help the feeling that how great it could have been if it had chosen to be a little brave. What’s the need for comedians from ‘Sirippoli’ in a cop drama? Well, if you have to ask questions, there is no dearth for them. Looking at the positives, Vikram Prabhu plays his part with style and sincerity, and fits the role of the cop to the tee. He emotes well and gives the necessary punch to the action sequences. Cinematography by Vijay Ulaganath brings in a lot of gritty nervousness towards the climax, and constantly aspires for innovation. But one technician who stands out among the rest is editor Praveen KL, whose flashy cuts do serve to bring in the necessary mood.

Sigaram Thodu Poster 2Sathyaraj is brilliant in some sequences, but again his projection as the unrelenting fighter could have been more subdued.  Gaurav however impresses with his deft characterization of the antagonists.  He is extremely convincing as the deceivingly gentle, yet ruthless brain behind the scam. Sathish brings in the occasional chuckle, but on the whole his comic portions never gel with the movie.  Imman’s background just passes muster, with only his ‘Takkunu’ song feeling quirky and fun (the song has also been shot interestingly). The level of detailing in the sequences leading to the pinnacle is praiseworthy, but the predictable climax is again a drag. If only the kind of writing involving the heist sequences had been there throughout the movie!

Vikram Prabhu continues to pick interesting scripts, but here Gaurav falters by trying to stick to the ‘commercial’ routine. As I said earlier, Sigaram Thodu is not a bad film.  It probably depends on how you choose to look at it! Yes, it’s not a taut investigative thriller, but then as a commercial movie, it is definitely not in the infamous league of the utterly unpalatable biggies.  Watchable? Yes! Brilliant? No!

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