Do you remember those Visu movies of the ‘80s that were all about amazing joint families and their stellar love? The ghost from Sangili Bungili Kadhava Thorae possibly grew up watching those films on Raj TV. It's the only explanation for why it's such a tedious uncleji who can't stop preaching when its primary duty is to scare the living daylights out of you.
Supposed to be a horror comedy, Sangili is an exhausting, lazy film which depends on double entendre to keep the audience interested. The high point of the film is a long comedy sequence involving Soori, Thambi Ramaiah and Devadarshini which euphemistically calls sex as doing laundry and genitals as clothes and washing machines. But wait, the film has some mummy sentiment thrown in, so really-truly, do take your children along to watch this "family entertainer".
Not that I have a problem with double entendre as such (unlike the ghost from Sangili, my morals are not as unwavering), but if that's your biggest and only strength, why not make a proper adult comedy instead of this apology of a film? The funny lines offer nothing new either and fall back on the age-old jokes that have been around forever - so, it's not surprising that it's when one character speaks of "kattai" (wood) that the hero meets the heroine ("kattai" also equal to woman, geddit? So fun). I was waiting for a "body" (body = bra in Tamil cinema) joke, too, but writer-director Ike seems to have given this one a pass.
Sangili has the hackneyed premise of every other horror film. A haunted house. A swing that swings by itself. A creepy kid (Soori hilariously names him Kalathoor Kannamma because of his ears and hairstyle). An unnatural death. Moronic people who run around shouting "ghost!".
There's nothing remotely new in the script and it's made worse by characters who have the depth of a puddle. You can feel the director trying hard to please the crowds - whether it's a jibe at PETA or a salute to Ajith - every two minutes and the earnestness is grating beyond a point.
Jiiva as Vasu, a real estate broker who buys the haunted mansion, is passable. He has nothing much to do other than deliver slapstick lines and break into song and dance. Sri Divya is the heroine - we know this because Vasu falls in love with her character. That's it. The ensemble cast, which includes Radha Ravi, Radikaa Sarathkumar and Kovai Sarala, is loud and suffers from poor characterization. This is a communist script in that sense - it's poverty of imagination distributed equally.
Neither the music nor the cinematography increase the spook value in the film although I'm glad someone made a song out of that immortal "Ek gaon mein ek kissan raghu thaatha" line.
With its unoriginal humour and barely there fear factor, Sangili Bungili Kadhava Thorae is far from being a full bodied horror comedy. It's a ghost of the genre and a very pale one at that.