Sindhubaadh movie cast: Vijay Sethupathi, Anjali, Surya
Sindhubaadh movie director: SU Arun Kumar
Sindhubaadh movie rating: 2 stars
Midway through Sindhubaadh, Thiru (Vijay Sethupathi) and Super (the actor’s real-life son, Surya) go blank as they search for Venba (Anjali). As an audience, you experience a similar feeling. You don’t understand why certain absurd things happen in the film that somewhat starts on a promising and realistic note. For example, there is a shot where Thiru jumps from one building to another. He doesn’t tumble down or misstep. Like a superhero, in a single attempt, he flies and lands safely on the ground. It doesn’t look awkward, say, if Vijay does a Superman—because we are used to seeing him do ‘stunts’; but not Vijay Sethupathi.
Sindhubaadh marks the third collaboration of Vijay Sethupathi and Arun Kumar after Pannaiyaarum Padminiyum and Sethupathi. Having watched those two films, I can tell you subtlety is clearly Arun’s forte and he is quite good at handling both human relationships and humour. The first twenty minutes of Sindhubaadh was engaging but doesn’t set the tone for the rest of the film. In the second half, we are introduced to flesh trade and skin trafficking. The ambitious start isn’t followed by a crisp screenplay. All interesting scenes in the film belong to the pre-interval portions that compel you to sit through the next half.
Scenes between Thiru and Venba, in the first half, are delightful to watch. Thiru says, “I love you, Venba. We can have kids after the wedding.” He stalks her, but you know what happens in the end… Like any other Tamil heroine, this character also ends up “falling in love” with the hero. But I liked this particular scene where unexpectedly Thiru ties thaali on Venba in the airport. It’s beautiful. That would have been odd if it were placed in some other film. Watch out for Anjali’s expressions. In some places, she does score more than Vijay Sethupathi.
Venba is kidnapped and Thiru saves her. That’s the crux of Sindhubaadh. (similar to the famous adventure tale of Sindbad, the Sailor). A clueless Thiru travels across countries and finds Venba—not only rescues her but also other women, involved in skin trafficking. Simply put, Vijay Sethupathi vaguely does what Vijay did in Velayudham towards the climax. I am not saying he hasn’t reached the point where he can show ‘mass’ like Vijay and Ajith, but you can’t buy it easily. Vijay Sethupathi has spoilt us with fantastic films including Aandavan Kattalai, Vikram Vedha, Super Deluxe, 96 and so on. You can’t accept when he settles for less.
Sindhubaadh could have made for a better film if the warmth that exists in a few scenes were retained throughout. It could have worked better if the focus were on the warm love story of a hearing-impaired man and his loud wife.
Take this moment where “Raasathi Unna Kaanaadha Nenju” gets played in the background—at the same time Thiru searches for his wife. Or, this scene—where Thiru falls at a sex worker’s feet for his wife. No doubt, Vijay Sethupathi aces here, but that doesn’t save Sindhubaadh on the whole. There’s plenty of scope in the story to show emotions but none of that happens.
I was looking forward to watching more of Surya’s performance, in fact. It’s amazing how he doesn’t oversell a joke. (The father-son duo is terrific on screen.) Even in a serious life-threatening situation, there are a couple of genuinely funny moments. But the problem with Sindhubaadh is the script shifts gear from an endearing drama to action. The film feels utterly disjointed, more like a bunch of random scenes strung together and it ends up neither here nor there.
If one were to quickly point out the problematic portions of Sindhubaadh, it would be the portrayal of Thiru and Super as petty thieves. But I like how Arun Kumar lets the audience invest their time in his characters. Wait, you may wonder why I didn’t talk about Yuvan Shankar Raja’s music yet. That pretty much says it all.