Sadhu miranda

OK, it is actually Saadhu (aka, a paavam chap) mirandaal (if he gets angry) and has nothing to do with Miranda, the sickeningly orange soft drink as I had assumed for a (surprisingly) long while. Finally got around to watching this movie after having given it a miss for about five years, I was pleasantly impressed by it.

Directed by Siddique (of Ramji-Rao Speaking fame) from the Malayalee land, it stars Prasanna in one of his earliest not your usual next door boy roles and Kaavya Madhavan in her last Tamil appearance till date and Abbhas as the grey eyed villain (I’ll come back to contact lenses in a bit, which seem to be separate characters on their own in this film)

The movie starts off with a bank heist, as a stunned Mannivannan (who looks disturbingly frail) looks on haplessly as one of the two robbers murders a twenty something old hostage to make a quick get away. We are then introduced to Prasanna, aka Sundaram the Simple,  in a rickshaw searching for a dreaded drug lord in the pouring rain, who is dancing around with Swetha Menon in the rain (item number done with early on in the film, thankfully by junior-villain). Sundaram saves a young girl albeit seeming to be rather naive and in fact slight retarded, joins the gang and becomes a messenger-boy to deliver “stuff”. Note that he is brown eyed.

There is a comedy track featuring all the comedians in Tamil Cinema  you can think of and Prasanna chasing one another, and though it is hard to believe, it is rather funny, in a nice way. Enter Kaavya Madhavan as a TV anchor, who bumps into Sundaram . She is also one of the daughters of Manivannan, who apparently committed suicide due to the great bank robbery, which comes as no surprise to one well versed in Tamil Cinema coincidences.

Kaavya hears conflicting stories about Sundaram. He is apparently the brother of Abbhas, the man in the US who is quite interested in Kavya and has promised to get her there. He is apparently a drug addict. And also goes by the name of Shiva. He is obviously too naive and simple, helping old ladies around, but makes suicide phone calls occasionally . He solves difficult engineering problems apparently with the help of a mysterious IIT drop out friend, Murthy, whose voice we hear now and then hatching plans to bring Abbhas to India. We, the audience are also told that Shiva and Abbhas are the bank robbers.

The movie, after a few false starts,  effortlessly becomes quite gripping at this point, with not too many distractions. Mostly, every move from the hero, heroine and the villain doesn’t seem outlandishly absurd (unlike the norm followed by a general Tamil thriller) and in fact, is quite intelligent from time to time. In fact, the heroine behaves remarkably sensibly almost *all* throughout the movie. Kudos Siddique !

Regarding performances, Prasanna’s is a decent essay, you don’t really buy the Simple Sundaram act, but well, as it turns out, you are not supposed to. Sometimes he is brown-eyed, sometimes grey, sometimes he is clean shaven and sometimes bearded, sometimes he is natural, sometimes forced, but he is mostly always entertaining.

Kaavya is a really good actress, and as has been said before, speaks volumes with her eyes. The only really sad drawback was Savitha’s dubbing, which in itself, was not that bad. The lip-sync was great too, just that Savitha’s voice is no match for Kaavya’s acting and we wring our hands in despair as to why the pretty actress didn’t dub in her own voice, surely a thick mallu accent would have been better and more interesting. Also who has dubbed for Kaavya’s sister in this film !? It brings unwanted memories of airport announcers and pre-recorded phone messages to one.

Continuing on the theme of dubbing, Ravi Devnarayan has done a great job dubbing for Abbhas. Or maybe because I have never actually heard Abbhas speak, it seems to jell well with his face. Abbhas is distractingly light eyed in this film, but for once has a role where he is not the other guy who either dies midway or has to give up the girl to the hero at the airport, and does justice to his character.

Overall, worth a watch !

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