Film: Sivappu Manjal Pachai
Cast: Siddharth, GV Prakash Kumar, Kashmira Pardeshi and Lijomol Jose
Filmmaker Sasi, who returns to direction after three years since the release of the highly successful Pichaikkaran, makes a well-intentioned family drama in Sivappu Manjal Pachai. The film, however, does feel bloated at places due to the overdose of melodrama. It’s one of those genuine attempts that could’ve toned down on melodrama for a stronger impact.
Nevertheless, the film is anchored strongly by its lead performances of Siddharth and GV Prakash Kumar, who shine in roles that are at loggerheads for most part of the film.
The film features GV Prakash as Madhan, a reckless street racer and he spends most of his time racing on busy streets of Chennai. When he’s not racing and picking up fights with the local gangs, he helps his sister, Raji aka Rajalakshmi, in daily chores. Orphaned at a young age, Madhan and Raji have grown up taking care of each other and their bond is unbreakable.
GV Prakash stars in the film as a street racer.
Siddharth plays Rajasekar, a duty-fearing traffic cop who crosses path with Madhan in an unfortunate incident, earning the latter’s wrath for a payback. But Madhan gets the shock of his life when he learns that Rajasekar ends up as his sister’s suitor through a family alliance. What happens when Rajasekar enters Madhan’s life and the events that follow make up the rest of the story.
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If it was the bond between mother and son in Pichaikkaran, Sasi explores the bond between a sister-brother and uncle-brother-in-law in Sivappu Manjal Pachai. He gets the emotions rights with scenes that hit all the right notes. However, the problem with the film is that it doesn’t rise above the issues between the lead characters and drowns in its own melodrama, especially when the film reaches the climax. As much as one wants to appreciate Sasi’s well-intentioned idea to build his story on the strong sister-brother bond, the idea ends up as a middling one by the time the film reaches its end.
Watch the trailer of Sivappu Manjal Pachai here:
Siddharth and GV Prakash complement each other with roles that portray them in a new light and it’s refreshing to see them embrace their characters confidently. Siddharth, in particular, brings in a lot of charisma to the cop’s role and he balances it well with an emotional core that gets explored in the second half. Prakash, on the other hand, is competent in the emotional scenes. Lijomol as Prakash’s sister makes a solid debut and her performance is devoid of the usual tropes that are associated with such roles.
For a film that’s centred on a street racer, wish the racing sequences were shot more authentically. Call it budget constraints, but most of the racing scenes lacked realism and were shoddily recreated using computer graphics.