Seema Raja movie cast: Sivakarthikeyan, Soori, Samantha Akkineni
Seema Raja movie director: Ponram
Seema Raja movie rating: 1 star
Independent filmmaker Sanal Kumar Sasidharan had once made a very wise observation about the business of filmmaking. In a tweet, he wrote, “You can’t make many films, you can make one film and many copies of it!” His words of wisdom will ring true when you watch director Ponram’s latest film Seema Raja. It is his third consecutive film with actors Sivakarthikeyan and Soori.
Ponram discovered a winning formula when he made the blockbuster Varuthapadatha Valibar Sangam, his first collaboration with Siva, in 2013. The formula is simple: Lead the film with a self-centered hero, and pair him with a sidekick whose primary job is to indulge his master’s ego. And have them chase around the most beautiful girl in the town. Just to make things a bit interesting, throw in a few equally egoistic opponents. There you have Ponram’s formula for creating box office hits. It worked wonders the first time in Varuthapadatha Valibar Sangam. Ponram milked it further the second time in Rajini Murugan (2016). He has again tried to exploit the already overused premise with Seema Raja. But, he has drawn a blank this time.
Seema Raja, is the titular king in waiting in Singampatti village, which was ruled by his family for generations before India passed the abolition of Zamindari bill. The government now controls lands and other properties that belonged to his royal family. But, not the title or the feeling that his family still owns the village. He has a sidekick/personal assistant, of course, played by Soori. Like all Ponram heroes, vanity is Seema Raja’s favorite kind of sin. He is the kind who doesn’t think twice before taking credit for other people’s work, as long as he gets to be the center of attraction. He takes false credit for shooting a leopard. He courts arrest to impress his crush Suthanthira Selvi (Samantha Akkineni) but tricks other people into believing that he was going to jail for greater good. The words like integrity and humility desert him.
Of course, you will find a seemingly endless number of problems with Seema Raja, if you take this film seriously. But, it’s an impossible task to do so. In fact, Ponram tells you to believe in the story that he’s telling. The catch is he doesn’t really mean it. How do you take a film seriously, when you have a village full of people who could be tricked into believing a skiny dog painted in watercolours as a leopard? Ponram doesn’t spell it out loud but it’s very obvious that Seema Raja is a spoof movie. It could be considered as a ‘spiritual sequel’ to Thamizh Padam.
The director has spoofed many popular films. For example, Seema Raja, who has no record of grappling experience, takes over the arena and mimics Salman Khan’s wrestling moves from Sultan. Soori rips off his jersey in the middle of a grappling match and begins to flex his recently developed abs and biceps, to no payoff. A wild leopard, as opposed to its natural instincts, fools around with lead actors for comic relief. And post-interval, the movie partially turns into a Baahubali film.
How can the audience wrap their head around a film such as Seema Raja, when they are unable to decide if it’s a parody film or not?
In the introduction song titled “Vaaren Vaaren Seemaraja”, there is a line that suggests it takes some level of talent to keep doing the same film again and again. To match the lyrics, the camera stops at director Ponram and his team in the song. The filmmakers have got it totally wrong. It takes an absolute absence of talent and imagination to make the same film over and over again.