Sakka Podu Podu Raja - Santhanam turns a conventional hero



Sakka Podu Podu Raja -  Santhanam turns a conventional hero  
A film that has everything going for the debut director with Santhanam as hero, STR debuting as music composer, a hit material from Telugu and pretty decent production values provided by VTV Ganesh. Will the end product satisfy the viewers remains to be seen.
The opening provides some fun as Santa (Santhanam) helps a sister of a dreaded rowdy Bhavani ( Sampath) elope with her lover ( Sethu) and he himself escapes to Bengaluru. The gang tries to trace him through a call taxi driver Dilli (Vivek) who in turn gives them the number of Power star putting them off track for sometime. In Bengaluru Santa falls for Yazhini (Vaibavi) a shrewish college girl who turns out to be the sister of a rowdy there. Meanwhile Bhavani in search of Santa happens to travel with Dilli both not knowing who the other is. How Santa manages to outwit the two rowdies and gets his girl forms the rest of the screenplay.
Santhanam executes both the fights and the dances well. He is also quite comfortable in the romance scenes but seems a tad uncomfortable when speaking punchlines facing the camera and the slow motion walks . Fans would also be somewhat disappointed that more comedy comes from the ensemble than from him. Vaibavi Shandilya appears in a role with little semblance of both logic and intelligence, be it her shrewish behaviour in college or trying to impress the hero in a two piece. Vivek as Dilli is responsible for most of the jokes that work especially when his wife acts as VTV Ganesh's wife to hoodwink the rowdy. VTV Ganesh as Santa's dad also gets into the mix with his usual antics. Sampath is in a dilemma whether to play Bhavani as a serious villain or not and sadly that shows on screen. Robo Shankar, Lokesh, Swaminathan, Mayilswamy, Narayan Lucky and a host of comedians from television populate the screen but manage to evoke only half smiles.
'SPPR' provides passable entertainment from time to time as the screenplay, though inorganic keeps moving from one situation to another and in the second half when the entire cast assembles in one place there are also some loud fun moments provided by Vivek and VTV.
On the downside the debutante director has not adapted the story well enough to Tamil as there is a distinct Telugu flavor to the proceedings. Many sequences like Sampath and Vivek travelling together unknown to each other is not milked enough for thrills or for comedy. Though there are a number of twists and turns none of them are convincing enough especially the other villain Sharat Lohitwasha's entry and his reason for wanting to take revenge on Sampath and his sisters.
Simbu makes an impressive debut as music director with his opening song for the hero taking the cake. Some of his songs seem to have the same rythm but still pleasing to hear and his background score is lively and a big plus. Abhinandan Ramanujam's camera work and Antony's editing is what you expect from them. As said earlier debutante G.L. Sethuraman has missed beats when adapting the screenplay to Tamil and his handling of the actors also leaves a lot to be desired.

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