Kollywood has seen innumerable rural entertainers featuring leading actors. There is nothing wrong with directors churning out cliched films set in villages. But the core point of any film is that it should have a story that evokes interest.
Sivakarthikeyan and Samantha’s Seema Raja lacks in that department. There is a wafer-thin storyline which is highly predictable. On top of it, director Ponram doesn’t make Seema Raja enjoyable at all. Instead, the film irritates you every five minutes… so much that you contemplate running out of the theatre.
Seema Raja (Sivakarthikeyan) is the Singampatti royal family heir. Like all his previous films, he is a wastrel whose sole aim is to woo the girl he falls in love with. Here it is Sudhanthira Selvi (Samantha), a Physical Training teacher in a village school.
The residents of Singampatti and neighbouring village Puliyampatti are always at loggerheads with each other. Kaathadi Kannan (Lal) and his wife Kaaleswari (Simran) belong to Puliyampatti, and their sole aim is to force villagers to give up their land so they can start windmill projects.
How Sivakarthikeyan wins Samantha’s love and helps the villagers of Singampatti forms the story of Seema Raja. Throw in some Sivakarthikeyan and Soori’s old comedy, the farmer sentiment, Ajith-Vijay references, and you get Seema Raja.
Director Ponram’s Seema Raja is the perfect example of lazy writing. Every single sequence is ridiculous and reeks of immature direction. Making a rural entertainer is not a sin, but incorporating age-old dialogues in the form of comedy is. And that is among the problematic aspect of Seema Raja.
Sivakarthikeyan’s character is no different than his earlier films, barring Velaikkaran. He has once again played the role of an aimless youngster who roams around the city or village trying to impress the girls he likes. But at least the comedy sequences featuring Sivakarthikeyan and Soori in those films worked.
In Seema Raja, their so-called comedy track is a pain to sit through. According to Soori, Habeas Corpus rhymes with KPN Travels – and this is supposed to make the audience laugh. Eyeroll? You bet. It is high time Soori took a step back to analyse his career and where he needs to improve to actually make people laugh.
The dialogues by director Ponram are atrocious to listen to. Without delving deep into it, here are a few examples of the ‘top-notch’ dialogues from the film.
– Nee yaara vena iru, evana vena iru…aana enkita konjam thalliye iru (You can be anyone, but stay away from me)
– Thalai ke thala pulla pombala pilla dan (Even Thala’s – Ajith’s – first child is a girl)
Another appalling factor in Seema Raja is the way Samanatha’s character is etched. She is a PT teacher who puts her silambam (a traditional martial art) skills on display. Sadly, Ponram thinks that giving silambam to a heroine makes a film progressive.
Despite being a master at the martial art, Samantha is the timid heroine who needs a hero to save her from local ruffians. What is more terrible is how she waits right till the end of the film to fight an adversary.
Women are objectified on screen and are reduced to the stereotypical wife without brains. In a particular scene, Soori tells Sivakarthikeyan that a girl can be easily brainwashed and manipulated by her parents. It is sickening to see women being portrayed as unintelligent and incapable of taking decisions on their own.
The only redeeming factor in Seema Raja is the flashback portion where Sivakarthikeyan appears as Kadambavel Raja. The war sequences are shot and choreographed skilfully.
Ponram, Sivakarthikeyan and Soori have delivered hits earlier with Rajini Murugan and Varuthapadadha Vaalibar Sangam. Repeating the same combination can do wonders at the box office sometimes. But this time, not quite.
Overall, Seema Raja follows the usual template of a village-based film and does nothing extraordinary with it. If you are still willing to see Seema Raja, may the force be with you.