“Veera Sivaji” begins with a typical introductory scene of the hero. He’s seen helping a foreigner. How does he do that? By beating up a bunch of men to pulp, of course. Naturally, the damsel in distress is glad that she’s saved by the hero. With this kind of a beginning, how well do you think the movie is going to progress?
Shamlee has been making a debut almost every decade – as a child artist; then as the lead in the Telugu film, “Oye!” (2009); and recently in the Malayalam film, “Valliyum Thetti Pulliyum Thetti” (2015); now she re-enters Tamil cinema with a role that unfortunately doesn’t have any substance. Her screen presence appears to have gone missing, too.
Vikram Prabhu seems to have a liking for films that deal with crime. While “Ivan Veramathiri” and “Sigaram Thodu” worked in his favour, sadly, “Veera Sivaji” turns into a piece of mockery in the end. Sivaji (Vikram) is a happy-go-lucky man who has to step into the shoes of a superhero somewhere in the middle of the film. He learns that a child he adores to bits has a brain tumor. He immediately calls up his friends and acquaintances to gather all the money he can. That’s where the characters played by John Vijay and Rajendran enter Sivaji’s life.
If one looks at the film through the eye of crime, the point made here is simple: intelligent criminals trap greedy-stupid people with their interesting schemes. Some folks do not think twice when they smell a chance to make a quick buck. They willingly fall into the pit and sing a song from the ‘victim album’.
Robo Shankar and Yogi Babu play Suresh and Ramesh respectively. Their characters are based on the famous ‘Cadbury 5 Star Chocolate Bar’ commercials. They do provide laughs every now and then with their dialogues. However, when a sketch that’s supposed to be two minutes long is drawn-out to fit into a full-length movie, it becomes pretty redundant (and tiring). John Vijay tries to be a menacing villain. Yet, through the course of the narrative, his character’s importance drops. His aide, Rajendran, gets better lines and his presence is inarguably a notch higher than that of his boss.
After impressing a generation with her cute looks and innocence in various films as a child, Shamlee fails to make the cut as a lead. The film doesn’t need her at all. She’s named Anjali in the movie, perhaps to make the audience recall her performance from the Mani Ratnam classic “Anjali”. Those cinematic touches are all there. Still, the big question cannot be avoided – what is she doing in the film? In this action-dramedy, the portions belonging to romance, comedy, and action don’t join hands at all.
If Shamlee, Robo Shankar, and Yogi Babu weren’t a part of the film, perhaps “Veera Sivaji” could have entertained us as a neat thriller.