There are films made by men, and then there are films made by boys. Sivakumarin Sabadham falls in the second category. Starring Hiphop Tamizha Aadhi in the lead, it is hard to fathom the intent of the film other than the most obvious one – to make a hero out of Aadhi.
Infamous for a single that he’d released a decade ago which maligned women, especially those who didn’t fit the composer’s definition of the gender, Sivakumarin Sabadham can be best described as an inherently boyish fantasy of an unevolved filmmaker – and adult.
Directed, produced, written and composed by Aadhi, the prima facie justification for what we are presented with is to perhaps magnify the actor’s presence in Tamil cinema. He has a side-kick, a woman he woos, a conflict that sees him battle all odds to claim a life for himself – and the woman he likes. Also, a cause. The cocktail which has, to considerable success, made heroes out of many actors in the 90s. To Aadhi’s credit, he does tweak the proceedings a little. The romance is drearier, the family drama is more intense, and the dialogues truly lack any merit. Indeed, we are thrown icky one-liners about the female lead’s clothes – icky to us, not the appreciative audience that Aadhi commands. It’s a rather sorry sight that establishes the course for the film.
But then, Sivakumarin Sabadham is a film which cannot be assessed with the usual metrics for review. You know that this one ain’t going to win a prize for its portrayal of women. The bar is so low that you hope it doesn’t have too many instances to showcase its misogyny or box wrong ideas into the wide-eyed impressionable young men in the theatre.
Sivakumarin Sabadham lets us down in the aggressive attempt at self-aggrandization by its writer-director, hero, producer and composer. By way of story – which is a mere prop in Aadhi’s contribution to who’s-the-next-Rajinikanth – the film gives us a family torn by the questionable decisions made by its patriarch. Both financial and reproductive.
As the film opens, we see a bride being welcomed into her marital home. Just as the niceties are done with, the mother-in-law goes into labour. It’s a great setup for a screwball comedy, but Sivakumarin Sabadham shuns that route for serious play. Sivakumar (Aadhi) is raised in Kanchipuram by his grandfather who is the family’s patriarch. He grows up to be a wastrel, and is sent to the city to make something of himself. While at it, Sivakumar makes several vows (hence the title), woos back the woman who had disowned him, fights his grandfather’s fight, saves the family business, patches up his uncle’s marriage, and raises a flag for the cause of underpaid and overworked textile weavers. In addition, he also tries to salvage the disrepute his decade-old single had brought him. The last is a non-statement, and as expected, does more harm than good.
This Sivakumarin Sabadham 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.