Cast: Keerthy Suresh, Selvaraghavan, Kanna Ravi
Saani Kaayidham marks Arun Matheswaran’s second film. The first one was Rocky starring Vasanth Ravi, which was released late in December last year. One common thing with both films is the violence. So, it is easy to note that Arun is a lover of violence, but not just any violence, thoroughly justified and well-thought violence. The second commonality is the frames. You have no less wonderfully thought frames in Saani Kaayidham, just like you had it in Rocky.
If you watched the trailer of Saani Kaayidham, you would know that the film is violent. But, the best part is that the trailer reveals nothing about the movie itself, except for slightly grazing around the facts. Saani Kaayidham is a straightforward and easily understandable revenge film. It is an eye for an eye with not many plot twists or shocks in the course of the film.
In the first half, you may wonder why the leads are behaving as violent as they are. Once the reasons are established, the film completely revolves around the ‘hows’, i.e., how they’re carrying out the revenge. Tamil Cinema has witnessed violence and stunt scenes ever since the beginning. But Arun Matheswaran’s films are surely a turnaround, as they clearly justify the violence and make it believable for the audience.
Taking Saani Kaayidham itself, for example, generally, you would never believe that a woman and a man can commit 25 murders, with nobody else’s help. But, when you are halfway through the film, you know that Ponni (Keerthy Suresh) and Sangayya (Selvaraghavan) are thoroughly and completely capable of doing so. However, as the film’s viewer discretion clearly suggests, the film is only for those with a strong gut. All throughout the film, you are exposed to graphic and violent scenes, that surely are not everybody’s cup of tea.
As mentioned above, the movie is straightforward and easy to understand. The movie moves like a book, with a prologue, epilogue and 4 parts in between. At some point, that also makes you question why the movie is so simple. While the emotions and the sentiments of the film are placed well, at some point we desire that the film had a slightly more complicated storyline, so we could enjoy more of Keerthy Suresh and Selvaraghavan’s performances.
All through the film, the women of the film face the wrath of the male ego and fantasy. The movie is nothing if not for blown up male ego. Somewhat like portrayed in Asuran, Arun shows us how touching the male ego can be detrimental. But, as a breath of fresh air, Arun also shows what happens when you mess with a woman and her ego. He shows what women are actually capable of, almost referring to Kannagi like she burnt down an entire city.
The most important aspects of the film are the cinematography and sound design. Frames establishing the relationship between Sangayya and Ponni, and shots where Ponni reminisces her long-lost family, are just brilliantly shot. Kudos to Yamini Yagnamurthy for her cinematography. The sound design takes equal weightage as, in scenes where the violence becomes too graphic, the camera focuses on the attacker, and the background score helps us visualise and understand the degree of the attack. The sound of the slaying of the swords, pouring of acid, and burning of fire, are just too accurate for you to believe that it is actually fiction.
With this all being said, Saani Kaayidham is nothing without Keerthy Suresh and Selvaraghavan. The actor took a pretty good break after Annatthhe in Tamil, to come back to the Tamil industry for this film. However, except for Mahanathi, Keerthy has mostly done laid-back roles, where she plays the female lead opposite an actor. Saani Kaayidham is a huge breakthrough for Keerthy after Mahanathi, as we wonder why Keerthy hasn’t done a film like this before.
Coming to Selvaraghavan, this movie just straightaway makes us regret why the director came to the acting side of the industry this late into his career. With impeccable talent, Selvaraghavan has so much more to explore as an actor in the Kollywood industry.
Saani Kaayidham could have explored more in terms of screenplay. But, it is good as it is, as it is different from most revenge movies we have watched all these years. Most of all, with this film, we are reminded that Arun Matheswaran is a name to look out for in the future.
Rating: 3 / 5
Verdict: A good watch for a solid violent revenge story!