From the scorching 33 C sun into the bustling air-conditioned hall, the smell of butter popcorn wafts through the sanitised air of Sathyam Cinemas. Director Suseenthiran and costume designer Vasuki Bhaskar are in the crowd, fresh out of the darkened auditorium where Paayum Puli has finished playing. Not too far away is actress Janani Iyer, making it at least two Jananis (including yours truly), who walked into the auditorium hoping to be entertained by Savaale Samaali.
The film has a seemingly simple storyline – the hero and his team comes up with a novel reality show to improve the TRP rating of their TV channel, which is on the verge of collapse. Add a pinch of comedy, a dash of romance, and a sprinkle of action. What’s the reality show really about? Persuading the parents of two lovebirds that love marriages aren’t all bad.
The film tries to ridicule the TRP-oriented television industry, and takes a dig at the reality show business. However, thanks to a weak screenplay, the message isn’t particularly impressive.
Ashok Selvan, who received critical acclaim for his performance in Thegidi, deserves similar applause for his rendering of Karthik, an employee at a private TV channel named Top TV. Top TV’s TRP ratings are constantly going south. When the head of the channel (Karunas) has a cardiac arrest, Karthik and his friend take over, and launch this ‘spicy’ reality show, hoping to regain the lost business and goodwill. Ashok Selvan’s range of expressions make for a realistic and enjoyable Karthik, but unfortunately, Bindu Madhavi is used only to buffet the romantic scenes with the necessary glam doll figure.
There are tongue-in-cheek references to many TV shows. For instance, Ashok Selvan comments at one point, “En nee Vijay TV DD maadhiri suthi valachi mokka podra?” (Why do you beat around the bush like DD), referring to a popular chat show aired on Vijay TV. In another scene, Jagan is seen promoting his own show Connexion. Some lines are witty enough for a laugh or two. But most of their back-and-forth dialogue is hard to sit through, with jokes falling hopelessly flat.
The first half of the film is essentially an extension of the trailer. In fact, the first half can be skipped entirely. There’s little punch, plenty of meandering. The film finally gets going in the second half, thanks to the presence of veterans like Paravai Muniyamma, MS Bhaskar, Urvashi, Manobala and Nasser. In fact, a far better spoof of the reality show can be found on Adhu Idhu Edhu on Vijay TV.
In short, Savaale Samaali doesn’t live up to the hype of its trailer and promotions. There is no ‘Savaal’ in the movie and we definitely have to ‘Saamalichify’ that.
The Savaale Samaali 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 an advertising relationship with movies that are reviewed on the site.