Sindhubaadh movie review: Vijay Sethupathi is wasted in this unimpressive and tedious action drama

That’s the crux of Sindhubaadh. Simply put, Vijay Sethupathi vaguely does what Vijay did in Velayudham towards the climax. It could have worked better if the focus were on the warm love story of a hearing-impaired man and his loud wife. (The father-son duo is terrific on screen.) Even in a serious life-threatening situation, there are a couple of genuinely funny moments. Remember the scene where he plays carrom as he devours an ice cream? (similar to the famous adventure tale of Sindbad, the Sailor). 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. 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. But the problem with Sindhubaadh is the script shifts gear from an endearing drama to action. Do you get it? That would have been odd if it were placed in some other film. The ‘change’ doesn’t happen organically. Sindhubaadh marks the third collaboration of Vijay Sethupathi and Arun Kumar after Pannaiyaarum Padminiyum and Sethupathi. The film feels utterly disjointed, more like a bunch of random scenes strung together and it ends up neither here nor there. For example, there is a shot where Thiru jumps from one building to another. Vijay Sethupathi has spoilt us with fantastic films including Aandavan Kattalai, Vikram Vedha, Super Deluxe, 96 and so on. In the initial scenes, we are shown Thiru as a careless guy. You don’t often see a mainstream macho protagonist do that. Or, this scene—where Thiru falls at a sex worker’s feet for his wife. It’s amazing how he doesn’t oversell a joke. If one were to quickly point out the problematic portions of Sindhubaadh, it would be the portrayal of Thiru and Super as petty thieves. No doubt, Vijay Sethupathi aces in this aspect, but that doesn’t save Sindhubaadh on the whole. It’s beautiful. He doesn’t tumble down or misstep. You don’t understand why certain absurd things happen in the film that somewhat starts on a promising and realistic note. You can’t accept when he settles for less. Advertising

Venba is kidnapped and Thiru saves her. Suddenly, that lethargic petty thief transforms into a different person and travels across Thailand and Malaysia. As an audience, you experience a similar feeling. That pretty much says it all. The first twenty minutes of Sindhubaadh was engaging but doesn’t set the tone for the rest of the film. Watch out for Anjali’s expressions. Like a superhero, in a single attempt, he flies and lands safely on the ground. Thiru stalks Venba, but you know what happens in the end… Like any other Tamil heroine, this character also ends up “falling in love” with the hero. It doesn’t look awkward, say, if Vijay does a Superman—because we are used to seeing him do ‘stunts’; but not Vijay Sethupathi. But I like how Arun Kumar lets the audience invest their time in his characters. A clueless Thiru travels across countries and finds Venba—not only rescues her but also the other women, involved in skin trafficking. In some places, she does score more than Vijay Sethupathi. Sindhubaadh could have made for a better film if the warmth that exists in a few scenes were retained throughout. Take this moment where “Raasathi Unna Kaanaadha Nenju” gets played in the background—at the same time Thiru searches for his wife. 0
Comment(s) There is nothing wrong about the transformation, but it hasn’t been justified enough on the screen. Wait, you may wonder why I didn’t talk about Yuvan Shankar Raja’s music yet. I was looking forward to watching more of Surya’s performance, in fact. But I liked this particular scene where unexpectedly Thiru ties thaali on Venba in the airport. Advertising

Midway through Sindhubaadh, Thiru (Vijay Sethupathi) and Super (the actor’s real-life son, Surya) go blank as they search for Venba (Anjali). Scenes between Thiru and Venba, in the first half, are delightful to watch. It’s not something usual.