Thanks to many of our directors, in our mind a devotional movie is where you get to see flamboyantly dressed goddess dance around feverishly blessing her devotees or punishing the offenders as the case may be. It’s not surprising that even the slightest sense of spirituality will be wiped dry when you watch such movies. But wait a second. Did we tell you Seedan is sort of a devotional movie? It is. An adaptation of the endearingly made Malayalam movie Nandanam, Seedan is every bit of its honest Malayalam version. It acts as a plus point in many ways and not so in a few.
For one, Seedan is unpretentious and hence it unfolds in its own sweet pace; as a result it tends to get tad slow in parts. It’s stripped bare of fillers (leave aside Vivek’s comedy that is an inherent part of the story line) and that’s another reason the movie is slow.
Does Seedan work for Tamil audience? We do not know. Because, in a state where devotion is loud (think of the roadside temple speakers during the devotional months) a placid movie about an orphan girl who has a special ongoing relationship with Palani Murugan, who pines for Murugan’s love and her tribulations in life might not exactly strike a chord because we are only used to larger than life devotional movies.
To add to it, nothing significant happens in the movie during the course of its running. Ananya, as Mahalakshmi, fills the role with such conviction that it is hard not to feel bad for her. Just as the viewer starts to fall for her and her routine banters with Lord Muruga, enters her prince charming and she reluctantly falls for him, knowing absolutely that her love might very well be unrequited. The two-film old Ananya shows she has potential. And, her pretty, round face helps her to come up with a performance that would tug at your heart.
Dhanush’s cameo perks the movie up and provides it the required zing. But as Dhanush appears, the movie is already heading to its interval. The second half of the movie is largely saved from drowning in the after effect of the uneventful happenings of the first. Dhanush has had it easy in the role of Saravanan, the mysterious cook who has supposedly come to the rescue of the overworked Mahalakshmi.
Vivek has also come up with one of his best performances off late. When his Gumbidi Swamy character clashes with Dhanush, it’s riotous and lightens up the movie’s mood entirely. Other technical aspects, including music and songs are just about so-so.
Unlike his previous movies, Subramaniya Shiva has delivered a feel good, honest movie trying to break away from the traditional mould of devotional movies. If only the hints about Dhanush’s character were not so liberally sprinkled all over the movie and a cinematic climax was done away with, Seedan could have had a better chance. Nevertheless, it doesn’t hurt to watch a movie with its heart in the right place.