The movie’s protagonist, Ayya Adhimoolam (Vijay Sethupathi) is a veteran of the stage. Acting is his life, and theatre his world. In its first 20 minutes, the movie provides us his journey in theatre, from the Fifties until 2013, in a fairly simple approach. We see him performing in numerous performs throughout the eras. The content material of those performs adjustments in keeping with their respective eras. In the Fifties, it’s mythologicals, like Lava Kusa, however by the Eighties, we get a courtroom drama.
In a novel twist, Ayya, who had refused movies all his life, begins ‘performing’ in them. He turns into a celebrity, however when Dhanapal (Sunil, a powerful debut), a wily producer and actor, decides to play intelligent, Ayya ‘disappears’, leaving his good friend Parasuraman (Mouli, stable) and household to face one of many weird court docket instances ever.
For its first 40 minutes or so, Seethakaathi performs out extra like a melodrama. We get to see the fervour that Ayya has for theatre, the camaraderie he shares along with his troupe and their excessive regard for him, the issues in his household, which is especially financial due to his steadfast refusal to compromise on his artwork.
But inside a few scenes it is tone adjustments and the director provides us a darkish comedy that’s extra on the traces of his debut movie, Naduvula Konjam Pakkatha Kaanom. These parts not solely provide reduction from the heavy-duty melodrama of the preliminary parts, but in addition assist heighten the emotional moments (Govind Vasantha’s background rating additionally does among the heavy-lifting) that we get thereafter.
That stated, the movie can be overlong, and there are occasions when the broad comedy feels stretched and repetetive. And some is perhaps turned off by the deliberate, sluggish tempo of the primary half an hour. But for individuals who stick on, it turns into a rewarding expertise.
Ultimately, Seethakaathi is a meditation on artwork and artists. The movie does spell this out in a number of cases, however to his credit score, Balaji Tharaneetharan finds new methods to make it visually fascinating – as a 10-minute, single shot of a play on Aurangzeb’s final days, as a panel dialogue on a tv channel, and eventually, as an remark made by a choose whereas announcing his judgment. The topic may appear removed from interesting for individuals who take a look at motion pictures solely as leisure, however the director, with the assist of his trusting star, provides us a movie that’s artsy and likewise entertaining.
As for Vijay Sethupathi, for whom the movie occurs to be his twenty fifth, he comes up with a memorable efficiency that as bizarre as it might sound, is showy, but in addition considerably restrained on the identical time! It is a efficiency that be certain that its presence is felt all through and makes us not miss him through the giant parts when he is not onscreen.