Apparently, Santhanam has come to realise that one can never be ageless as in a comic strip. In Dikkiloona – as the name goes – he tries to level up. By getting a wife. He’s no longer the carefree single man tripping up everyone and everything that has the misfortune of existing within the range of his vision. He’s now married – and amazingly – is the troubled one. Not that it deters him from slapping his co-actors with cringe-worthy one-liners, but you get the drift. His life’s a joke, and his wife is no longer the girlfriend he could cozy up with. There begin the hero’s woes.
In Dikkiloona, Santhanam is a “lineman” with the TNEB, dissatisfied with his work, life, marriage, and just about anything he sets his eyes on. He arrives to fix an electricity outage at a hospital for the mentally frail, pokes fun at the doctors, patients, their clothes. He discovers an old garage, finds a differently-abled “scientist” inside, calls him something unsavoury. He chances upon Yogi Babu, tears apart his hair.
Even as Santhanam in suspenders and nerd glasses is a sight to behold, they do little by way of packaging his lines well. There isn’t a moment in the film that is genuinely funny. The setting is terrible: Santhanam is Mani, his screen name barely used in the film by any of his co-stars because none of them are allowed to talk up to him. The screen names of his co-stars though, are generously mentioned, only to be trampled upon immediately. Mani, disillusioned in marriage and career, indulges in a pity party, and a two-and-a-half-hour-long sequence about the evil that seems to have a hold on his life: his wife.
In a bid to reinvent himself, Santhanam switches the background of his latest act to a newer – and drearier one – but fails to realise that his brand of humour is no longer viable. The jokes are truly petty and the snark doesn’t sit right. The character’s ire is primarily directed at the women in the film. Mani marries, realises marriage ain’t easy, blames wife. Mani goes back in time with the help of a time machine, chooses a different woman – nuh uh. He’s more miserable than ever. Now with no other woman in sight (or written into the script), Mani blames his wife’s parents for not raising her right.
Added in the mix are tropes of morality and womanhood that act as a powerful anaesthetic – come to think of it, they could have been administered sooner. Instead, we endure a rather painful ordeal of staying put as our senses repeatedly come under assault. Dikkilona’s ludicrous premise and ideals though point to a certain infallible fact about the crew of the film: the men in there are in dire need of therapy.
This Dikkilona review is a Silverscreen original article. It was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the movie. Silverscreen.in and its writers do not have any commercial relationship with movies that are reviewed on the site.