'Sabhaapathy' review: Ended up asking for balm at popcorn counter
The recent Tamil flicks made me feel that we probably have grown past body shaming and "wife jokes." But films like Sabhaapathy slap us tightly and bring us back to a harsh reality that is pretty much the opposite. This one talks about ableism and even quotes Stephen Hawking as inspiration, but ironically makes fun of "bald heads" and "short aunties." Here's our review.
Why does it matter?
- After a series of flops like Dikkiloona and Parris Jeyaraj, the trailer of Santhanam's Sabhaapathy was surprisingly engaging and promised a fun-filled ride.
- It was expected the film will be a turning point in the actor's career graph.
- Having performers like Pugazh and MS Bhaskar, who are known for their intellectual wit, will the R Srinivasa Rao-directorial break Santhanam's failure streak?
- Don't think so!
A potential plot turns bland with uninteresting screenplay
Sabhaapathy (Santhanam) is an honest man with a stutter. The challenges he faces for simple things like finding a job and expressing his love were narrated realistically. For example, there was a scene when he yearningly saw a salesman marketing his product. Scenes like these gave us hope that the film will take off at some point. But then, it did not.
Main antagonist's plot is forced into the film
Sayaji Shinde plays the main antagonist. After his introduction, the hero's life changes. But the ACTUAL main antagonist is Sabhaapathy's manipulative father, Ganapathy (MS Bhaskar), who would threaten his family by attempting to end his life ALL THE TIME. One of the biggest letdowns of the film was when his abusive parenting was justified by being credited to Sabhaapathy's honest nature.
None of the jokes in the film clicks
The "jokes" in Sabhaapathy were not even close to funny. The audience actually made each other laugh with their replies! A few shots in Sabhaapathy can be used to promote tourism in Trichy, as the aerial shots were jaw-dropping indeed. Also, the antique furniture and the central character's home were so aesthetically rich that they attracted us more than anything else on the screen.
Film's climax hinted at a possible sequel. What, why?
The film starts with an animated character, who calls himself "fate" and plays with the lives of people. The voice-over of "fate" also finishes the film with a terrifying clue that there may be a sequel to Sabhaapathy! Note: Make sure to take a pain balm with you, for it won't be available at the popcorn counter. Verdict: The "comedy" film bags 1.5 stars.