The tested formula has worked wonders for an array of young stars who were inspired largely by the Superstar Rajinikanth. Simbu also wants to be a popular mass hero and the route he has taken is doing such films which appeals to a large section of Tamil audiences who doesn't enjoy films that test's intellect and imagination.
There is nothing original about the story; it has been etched from various Tamil, Telugu and an old Hindi film. What makes the film watchable is the packaging, which moves at a rapid pace, though at times this 2 hour 45 minute film tests your patience.
Vichu (Simbu) is an appavi (innocent) temple priest who is brought up by his grandfather (Nedumudi Venu) as a coward. Janu (Sana Khan), his neighbour, a talkative, pretty Brahmin girl is crazy about Vichu but she wants him to be brave and smart. But behind the coy and innocence, our hero Vichu has another side to him. Like an elephant he does not know his strength and soon he uses it against some local goons who come in his way.
Dorai Singam (Kishore) a local MLA who is a thug, lords over the area and he wants to take procession of villagers land for building a beer factory. His rival Muthuvel (Prabhu) who was in jail comes out and crosses sword with Dorai. But Vichu intervenes and he beats Doraiís men single-handedly. Muthvel is shocked to see Vichu who has a striking resemblance with his younger brother Tamizh(Simbu) who was killed by Dorai. What is the connection between Tamizh and Vichu? All the drama unfolds in the second half.
Actually the first half is a bit slow with Santhanamís crude comedy and the romance of Vichu and Janu . After the censors gave more than a dozen cuts and an UA certificate, the film still reeks of double entendre, crude gags, crass toilet jokes, and lots of blood and gore. But the story gains tempo and unfolds in a racy manner in the latter half with a well-shot Tamizhís introductory song and his cute romance with Gayathri (Sneha).
Silambattam is not devoid of faults Ė Double meaning dialogues, the girls massaging Panchamritham on Vichuís body and excessive violence when a 10-year-old is on a killing spree and songs pushed into the narrative in the first half.
The scenes that stand out are the lead to the climax, when Vichu in Billa get-up meets the villain and the punchlines that follow are a scream, Karunas subtle comedy that evokes laughter, the beautiful visuals atop a train with Tamizh-Gayathri romance, pleasing photography by Saravanan, action scenes by Kanal Kannan, spunky choreography and Yuvanís songs and background score are noteworthy.
Simbu dances like a dream and shines in this film with a performance that is measured and meticulous. As the cheerily upbeat Tamizh and the innocent Vichu he invests an equal amount of energy and style. Sana Khan looks lovely and makes an earnest attempt in the acting department too but in a film like this, that's plenty effort. Sneha does her bit with grace while Prabhu is just ok. Kishore is menacing as the villain.
On the whole, itís a decent masala entertainer aimed at mass audiences.
Verdict: Mass Masala