Here comes another family drama based on revenge and retribution, set in the rural heartland of Tamil Nadu. Now, we have been crying ‘cliché’ out loud for some time now, but there are still film makers who believe that there is enough juice left in the pulp to deliver one more box office success. Well, that belief might be right, but it has to be backed up by a good story and film making. Does Sengathu Bhoomiyile deliver the goods?
Well, the premise holds absolutely no surprises. It tells the tale of two families, closely related to each other, falling apart due to an unfortunate incident. The falling apart does not end with that incident; it snowballs into something much bigger, ending up in the loss of lives and a total collapse of their relationship. Now, they are baying for each other’s blood like sworn enemies. The ‘pangaali’ problems and the boiling blood resulting in swishing sickles and death is something that easily gets on our nerves these days.
Director Rathnakumar must have known how and where to draw a line and give this film an identity of its own. Towards the end, the gloom, death and despair become a bit too much for everybody. The major problem with the film is that it has nothing but actions and reactions that hinge on one solitary incident which started it off all. We are not given much of an insight into the minds of the characters; they are just impulsively sickle wielding men. The only characters who seem to show any kind of emotional involvement in the whole affair are the women; but they have precious little space.
The two central characters of the movie, played by Pavan and Senthil deserved to be etched better. Nothing much is said about them either before the main plot starts rolling or after it is set in motion. They are reduced to loud shouting angry men who just want to get their revenge. Pavan, the ‘Out’ from Polladhavan, gets a long pending opportunity as a lead player. He does look intense, but really, one cannot judge his potential in such a leanly sketched role. The main and perhaps the only saving grace of the entire affair is Singampuli. As a close relative of both the families, it is his one liners and humorous wise cracks that keep the movie lively and mildly amusing for most parts of the first half. Take him out of the equation and the movie would have looked drab. It would not be wrong to say that he single-handedly has rescued the movie from mediocrity.
Ilayaraja’s musical score looks surprisingly ordinary; almost nothing sticks to your mind. Is it really the Maestro? The technical aspects have a hurriedly done feel about them. The overall finish looks rough and frayed.
Sengathu Bhoomiyile is a film that tries to rework the rural revenge formula with a load of stereotypes. With some good characterisation, better emotional involvement of the characters and technical standards; the movie would have ended up as an acceptable fare. But, as things stand now, it looks below par.
Verdict: Rural revenge replayed!