Cast: Sivakarthikeyan, Samantha Akkineni, Soori, Simran.
Seemaraja is the third collaboration of Sivakarthikeyan and director Ponram. Though Rajini Murugan and Varuthapadatha Vaalibar Sangam were relatively in lower scale budget, they had plenty of enjoyable and interesting moments and turned out to be huge hits. Did the duo create the same magic with this massy scale masala flick?
Seemaraja (Sivakarthikeyan) is the scion of a royal family who were once ruling Singampatti Zameen. His father (Napoleon) is forthright and Singampatti is always at loggerheads with Puliyampatti, the neighboring village controlled by Kathaadi Kannan (Lal) and his wily second wife Kaleeswari (Simran). The couple schemes to usurp the lands from farmers and sell it to a north Indian businessman for a huge price.
As usual, Siva's character is designed as a jobless youth who roams around in the village with his sidekick Kanakku (Soori) and he is often seen with an expression of pride and smug satisfaction when people call him ‘Rasa’ (Raja). His only job for the 90 minutes of screen time is to stalk Sundandhira Selvi (Samantha), a PT teacher belonging to Puliyampatti, as he is head over heels in love with her. Then he’s also required in three romantic dream numbers.
Seemaraja’s father dies when he faces humiliation from Kathaadi Kannan. This, coupled with listening to the valorous story of his forefather Kadambaveera Raja (Sivakarthikeyan) who fought against Allaudin Khilji’s army brings about a change in Seemaraja who vows to save his people and the land from the detractors.
For Sivakarthikeyan, it is a tried and tested formulaic film with an oft-repeated character and hence there’s no surprise when he pulls it off with tremendous ease. What appeals the most was that he was able to carry the period portion with élan, although they remind us of the recent Baahubali and Padmaavat. Due credits to Ponram for his meticulous research and the way the war portions have been handled. Soori’s comedy has become repetitive and falls flat many times. Samantha looks gorgeous and though she has been portrayed as a silambam expert, why does she look so timid at the hands of Kaleeswari? Why wait for the hero to come and save her in the climax? Simran in a role with negative shades is just about adequate, but one wishes the director could have chosen a better voice for her dubbing.
Seemaraja seems to be an attempt to project Sivakarthikeyan as a mass commercial hero going the Rajinikanth way. It is a hotchpotch of several scenes of Rajini’s Padayappa, Muthu, Sivaji and even his latest Kaala. Nevertheless, what Ponram has forgotten are the basics – a fresh storyline!
Imman’s music once again reminds us of his earlier combo VVS and RM with Sivakarthikeyan, replete with a mass intro song. Balasubramaniem’s cinematography is just functional. Art director Muthuraj should be commended for the period setup.
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