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Seethakathi review: This film has a soul and is also high on fun and emotions

Seethakathi is yet another showcase of director Balaji Tharaneetharan’s quality as a filmmaker with quirky, original ideas

Source: Sify

By: Kaushik LM

Critic's Rating: 3.75/5

Tuesday 18 December 2018

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Movie Title

Seethakathi

Director

Balaji Tharaneetharan

Star Cast

Vijay Sethupathi,Rajkumar, Sunil,Ramya Nambeesan

Director Balaji Tharaneetharan stamped his class with his maiden film, the wacky comedy cracker Naduvula Konjam Pakkatha Kaanom, starring Vijay Sethupathi in the lead. The director then went on to do Oru Pakka Kathai, which unfortunately hasn’t seen a theatrical release till now. His third film Seethakathi is hyped and promoted as Vijay Sethupathi’s 25th film. 

First things first - For an actor to slot Seethakaathi as his 25th film requires a lot of guts and it proves that Vijay Sethupathi is definitely ‘different’ from your regular Tamil heroes. The film doesn’t have his usual tricks and styles. What we see is an old man living his part on screen. The makeup, accessories and costumes also go a long way in aiding Sethupathi in his endeavour. 

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The star actor plays Ayya Aadhimoolam, a veteran septuagenarian stage play actor who has a huge amount of respect in Tamil society. Ayya is someone who doesn’t act in films and prefers acting in front of the audience on the stage. Over the span of his career, theater as an art form dwindles in popularity but he still continues doing what he does, with immense passion and dignity. 


After the first 40 odd minutes when the film throws focus on Ayya in a very unhurried and detailed manner, the director introduces us to his core concept, which is in the paranormal, fantasy zone. We get intrigued initially, and then the fun begins. Thanks to his really talented bunch of actors like Rajkumar and debutant Sunil (actor Vaibhav's brother), Balaji succeeds in his experimental attempt.

Sunil is uninhibited and pulls off a difficult debut performance with conviction. He holds the entire 2nd half, along with the other actors in extended cameos like director Deekay, director Mahendran, Karunakaran and GM Sundar. Deekay turns out as a pretty good actor actually while Mahendran’s style and command over the screen are brought out well. Veteran director-actor Mouli has a key part in the proceedings throughout; it looks as if he repeats his set of expressions but that is what is required too. 

Bagavathi Perumal also shines with Rajkumar in one terrific sequence in a park when we go through a range of emotions and elements. There are a few heroines with brief cameo roles and it’s only Ramya Nambeesan who registers some sort of an impact. 

Composer Govind Vasantha has a fantastic outing yet again after 96. His background score is the soul of the film and elevates our viewing experience. The songs like ‘Ayya’ and ‘Avan’ gel with the film while some of his themes are literally blissful. The film would’ve been empty without his score!

Seethakaathi is also a meta film in the way it serves as a commentary on the workings of Tamil cinema and how the audience quickly grows fond of actors and their image. Director Balaji also throws light on stage play as an art form and establishes the respect that he has for this medium. 

Seethakathi isn’t without its flaws. The initial 40 odd minutes has to be seen with a lot of patience. The editing could’ve been ruthless in some other sequences too; the run time of 2 hours 53 minutes could’ve been cut short easily. Some of the meta scenes about Tamil cinema have been presented exaggeratedly. 

In all, Seethakaathi is yet another showcase of director Balaji Tharaneetharan’s quality as a filmmaker with quirky, original ideas. His film has soul and is also high on fun and emotions. Give it a shot, if you are a connoisseur of good cinema.

Seethakathi review: Verdict: Good

Reactions from Social Media

Surendhar MK @SurendharMK
Loved #Seethakaathi. Highly entertaining & equally thought-provoking as well. Most experimental meta film on the demarcation between art and mainstream cinema delivered through Balaji Tharaneetharan's endearing #NKPK comedy style. Beautiful movie-watching experience. Class act

Suganth @msuganth
Also, like #Rajinikanth (with Sri Raaghavendrar), it's brave of #VijaySethupathi to have chosen a passion project rather than a conventional film for his personal landmark. #Seethakaathi

Haricharan Pudipeddi @pudiharicharan
Absolutely loved #Seethakaathi, which works beautifully as a meta film on art, stardom and fandom. Quite an experimental attempt within the commercial space but is equally fun.

Ramesh Bala @rameshlaus
#Seethakaathi [4/5] : A Brilliant idea.. A Top notch Actor like @VijaySethuOffl who makes a strong impact..
Good supporting cast..
@govind_vasantha's BGM ?
Humour is an universal emotion that works well the audience.. 
Dir #BalajiTharaneetharan has a Quality Winner!

Karthick Naren @karthicknaren_M
#seethakaathi is a celebration of art. A heartfelt tribute by Balaji Tharaneetharan sir. The performance of the entire cast deserves a standing ovation. Has many moments of cinematic brilliance but a sequence in particular left me absolutely speechless. A very special film!