The Sivakarthikeyan-Ponram combo is back for a hat trick!! Their previous outings were hugely popular and played no small role in catapulting Sivakarthikeyan to dizzying heights in almost no time. This time round the canvas is bigger, the stakes are higher and Seemaraja is here. The start definitely was not auspicious with early morning shows being cancelled all over the state. There are murmurs within the industry of a big star having played spoilsport, but nothing is clear at the moment. Let’s leave that for the now!
Seemaraja is true to its name, a King-size production. The production values of the film are of the kind that are reserved for the real bigwigs of the industry. The producer’s confidence to invest this much in Sivakarthikeyan itself is proof that he has arrived as a peoples’ star. Seemaraja tries to capitalise on the one thing that has made Siva the darling of the masses; his carefree attitude coupled with uninhibited humor. He has with him Soori for company and the combination has never failed to make us laugh. Seemaraja does not touch the levels of humor that this combo has done previously, but it does not fall flat too. Maybe the team tried a bit too hard to raise their game and bargained a little bit of their spontaneity in the process and it can be seen on screen.
The hero is the usual type of guy we have seen in Ponram movies – the guy who has neither any interest in studies or any kind of productive work but wants to be widely respected in his village. He tries all kinds of gimmicks to gain the respect but ends up getting little of it really! And there is the familiar track of the good-for-nothing guy wanting to woo a woman who actually has some purpose in life. This time round it is a school teacher who is also quite well versed in martial arts (one of the best scenes of the film). The usual comings and goings of a village romance! In spite of all this predictability, the team has been able to keep the audience from getting bored. That is courtesy the effortless screen presence of Siva and Soori and their expertise in sarcastic one-liners. Also, a good portion of the credit goes to the cinematographer whose frames keep our eyes wide open. A couple of songs are real visual delights.
Then, the film shifts gears with the hero getting the wake up call of his life. This is where Seemaraja deviates from the usual Ponram template. He abandons his humor safe-zone and goes in for a majestic flashback sequence starring Kadambavel Raja. Safe to say, this is the best passage of the movie and has been shot quite brilliantly. We had doubts about how Siva would look as a king of the past, but the team has defied all doubts and put together a stellar show in this portion. The art, costumes, dialogues, camera and visual effects are top notch. One wonders whether Ponram could have actually made an entire film on Kadambaven Raja of Bahubali-like standards!
Then we are made to sit through a rather mundane and predictable climax. That is the let down here. The majesty and grandeur of the flashback portions are so colossally let down towards the end that you wonder what went wrong, what was the compulsion to go for a stereotype climax, and jukebox villains who just keep mouthing threatening dialogues without even coming close to hurting the hero! This glaring difference in standards between two portions of the film is what irks us most in Seemaraja. It is as if Ponram was caught in two different worlds and couldn’t decide which one to present to the audience!
Having said that Seemaraja has its share of elements for all kinds of audiences. The team has been careful to keep giving enough humor and songs to keep the regular Siva fans happy, while trying to take things to an altogether new level in the flashback. But the end product does look disjointed. If you can overlook that, Seemaraja is a clean family entertainer which will give you quite a few moments to cheer!
A king-size product which looks confused in parts!