Has director Bakkiyaraj not read a newspaper this whole year?

Remo Review Far from being romantic this film is a stalkers paradise
Features Review Friday, October 07, 2016 - 21:13

Sivakarthikeyan's "Remo", touted to be a light-hearted romcom, turned my blood cold. Not only is the misogyny in the film palpable, it unapologetically promotes dangerous ideas about love and romance, once again dismissing a woman's consent and encouraging relentless pursuit as the only way to her heart.

Sivakarthikeyan plays SK, an aspiring actor who has failed Class X. His passion for acting is limited to standing before hoardings of Rajinikanth and daydreaming. One day, he sees Kavya (Keerthy Suresh) walking down the road and decides that he has fallen in love with her. Kavya is a doctor who is engaged to another man, facts that SK learns down the line, but what's a good love story without a few obstacles, the biggest being the woman in the equation has no idea you exist?

Sivakarthikeyan plays nurse Remo with an attempt at dignity even though the film falls back on the tired stereotype of the sexy nurse. As SK, he mouths dialogues like "Women don't know that they are half the reason for the mistakes committed by men", "It's good to marry a woman who can be controlled by her father since her husband can also control her" and other such pearls of wisdom.

Despite Sivakarthikeyan's best efforts that he has clearly invested in the film, it is difficult to forgive the script for its numerous justifications of stalking and abject unwillingness to look at a woman as anything more than an object of pursuit. There's even a token acid attack victim thrown in to make the heroine understand "true love", in a moment of wild irony. Towards the end, he tells an angry Kavya that men like him who are firmly in the "loser" category need to take every opportunity they get to make a woman like her fall in love. Cringe.

Saranya Ponvannan as SK's mother is spirited as usual but it is saddening to see her spew soup song dialogues in support of her son who is really doing criminal things.

Phew. Has director Bakkiyaraj not read a newspaper this whole year? In one scene, SK and his friends beat up and threaten to burn the effigy of the nurse because "she" has failed him. This is followed by dialogues on how best the men can "kill" her for letting them down...and oh, another on how it's only the male heart which is the purest in the world. Again, time to glance at a newspaper once in a while, Mr Bakkiyaraj.

Keerthy Suresh has nothing much to do other than look pretty, but she brings some freshness on screen in spite of her hackneyed characterization.

The songs, especially "Senjitaley", linger in your mind. Not in a good way, considering the ideas that the lyrics propagate, although the music works.

PC Sreeram’s camera captures the young "couple" beautifully. And that's what chilled my blood. Because there's nothing beautiful about this and once again, here we are selling the dream that it is.

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