In comparison to Shakti Soundar Rajan's previous films, the writing in ‘Teddy’ is better but the film still takes liberal leaps with logic.

Arya and brown teddy bear from Teddy sitting on a beige couchScreengrab
Flix Review Friday, March 12, 2021 - 15:58

Shakti Soundar Rajan is fond of introducing genres to Tamil cinema. Apart from claiming to have made the first Tamil bank heist film (Naanayam), he's also made the first Tamil zombie apocalypse film (Miruthan) and the first Tamil space film (Tik Tik Tik). Coming in this line-up is the first Tamil teddy bear film (that may not be a genre yet, but why not?), Teddy.

Starring Arya, Sayyeshaa and an overstuffed teddy bear, Teddy is about a young woman, Sree (Sayyeshaa) who turns into a teddy bear and has her human form simultaneously abducted by some evil forces. Arya plays Shiva, a bespectacled genius with a photographic memory. He can not only learn Russian in a jiffy, he's also a seasoned martial arts specialist. He only has 12 friends on Facebook and is leading a content life till he meets Sree. Or at least, teddy bear Sree.

The teddy bear — which looks realistic but sounds squeaky like the typical loosu ponnu — is rather endearing in its determination to get to the bottom of the truth. This is perhaps the most screen time that Sayyeshaa's character has gotten in her films, though the character is ironically a teddy bear. The human form has very little to do. Arya's deadpan expressions are suitable to the brainy-brawny Shiva, and the cutesy friendship that the two characters strike drives the plot forward.

Shakti Soundar Rajan is an ambitious director, though his lofty dreams have not always taken off. In comparison to his previous films, the writing in Teddy is better but the film still takes liberal leaps with logic to make the story fit into the convoluted twists in the plot. 

Watch: Trailer of Teddy

Medical science goes for a toss as the characters in Teddy jump across continents, following 'clues'.The premise of a medical racket has been explored in several Tamil films — so that certainly isn't a 'first' — and Teddy becomes pretty predictable as it plods along. D Imman's background score adds some excitement to the proceedings, keeping the story from flatlining entirely. Sathish, Karunakaran and Magizh Thirumeni do what is expected of them.

The screenplay also suffers from unnecessary fight sequences that only stretch the runtime to longer than it needs to be. Though we have a hero who reads a lot (Paulo Coelho to Spencer Johnson...erm; but for someone so well-read, he still doesn't know that visiting a psychologist doesn't mean you're 'crazy'), he mostly solves all problems by punching everyone around him. These action scenes become tedious and slow the film down.

There are some mild moments of humour involving the teddy bear [like the absurd fight with the nurse] that put a smile on your face but largely, Teddy remains a passable affair that doesn't aspire to rise beyond the obvious.

The film is now playing on Disney+Hotstar.

Disclaimer: This review was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the series/film. TNM Editorial is independent of any business relationship the organisation may have with producers or any other members of its cast or crew.